At least 180 people died on Christmas Eve, when a ferry-boat with approximately three-hundred people on board, sank near Quayaquil in Ecuador.
At least 180 people died on Christmas Eve, when a ferry-boat with approximately three-hundred people on board, sank near Quayaquil in Ecuador. The boat was the 167-ton Jambeli, which was on its way to Quayaquil from Puerto Bolivar, on the Peruvian border. As it approached Quayaquil, it sank one and a half miles off Pune island.
The authorities say that 63 people were rescued, but that a number of passengers were still not accounted for. Immediately the alarm was raised, military and civilian rescue teams were assisted in their search by two air force helicopters and three Navy patrol vessels.
Many of the victims were people returning to their families in Quayaquil -- Ecuador's largest town -- for the Christmas holidays. Though the cause of the disaster is not yet known, it's thought that it occurred very suddenly and perhaps took only minutes for the Jambeli to sink. Early reports spoke of many of the victims dying in the panic to escape the sinking boat.