Several killed in boat collision in Peru’s Amazon

A collision of two boats on the Amazon in Peru Sunday has left at least 11 passengers dead and others missing, the government said.

The accident took place at 05:30 local time (1030 GMT) on the Huallaga River, in Muyuna, when a barge full of passengers that was sailing towards the city of Yurimaguas crashed into another freight barge amid dense mist at dawn, according to state channel TV Peru.

“So far there is an undetermined number of missing persons, as well as 11 dead and six injured,” the National Institute of Civil Defense said in a statement.

Firefighters, policemen and sailors are in charge of the search for the disappeared.

Entire families were traveling in the damaged boat, including about 20 children, according to survivors.

The passengers belonged to a religious community that was returning to Yurimaguas after participating in a vigil in a secluded hamlet in the jungle known as Santa Maria.