Terrifying moment canyon collapses to send boulder smashing onto tourist boat

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At least five people have been killed after a wall of rock at a waterfall in Brazil crashed down onto boats of tourists.

The tower of rocks suddenly broke away from the canyon wall and collapsed on top of several leisure boats in Lake Furnas near Capitólio in the state of Minas Gerais.

Shocking video footage shows a group of small boats moving slowly near the rock cliff on the lake when a fissure suddenly appeared in the rock and a huge piece toppled onto at least two of the boats.

At least one wrecked boat sank, while others sped away. People can be heard screaming in terror in the video footage.

Members of the fire service, including divers, have confirmed that they are still searching for 20 people who are believed to be missing.

People injured in the freak accident – which is said to have happened because of "heavy rains" – suffered broken bones, and one was in hospital in serious condition with head and facial injuries.

Around 23 others were treated for minor injuries, a spokesperson for the fire department told local media.

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Passengers in the other boats had noticed the fissures appearing in the canyon and desperately tried to call out to warn the other passengers, according to Globo.com.

Minas Gerais state Governor Romeu Zema Tweeted: “Today we are suffering the pain of a tragedy in our state, due to heavy rains, which caused the loosening of a wall of stones in Lake Furnas, in Capitólio.

“The Government of Minas is present from the beginning through the Civil Defense and Fire Department.

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“Rescue work is still ongoing.

“I stand in solidarity with families at this difficult time. We will continue to act to provide the necessary support.”

The Brazilian navy has launched an investigation.

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