Lindelia and Julián Vásquez are the deceased. There are other nationals injured, according to the Foreign Ministry.
The authorities of the city of New York confirmed this Wednesday that the two people who died in a river accident that occurred this Tuesday, July 12, in the Hudson River are of Colombian nationality.
The water vehicle in which around 14 people were being transported capsized in the river at the height of the Intrepid museum in New York, known for being a huge ship anchored in a tourist area on the west side of Manhattan.
So far, it has been confirmed that the deceased is Lindelia Vásquez, 47 years old, and Julián Vásquez, 7 years old.
This is what is known so far about the accident, the moments before the tragedy, and the two Colombian victims.
According to local media reports, Lindelia Vásquez, the deceased Colombian, had received a group of relatives from Colombia and Miami.
Albert Orozco, a friend of the family, told the New York Post that the woman had booked the small boat to take her guests on a tour of New York City via her waterways.
Orozco explained that Vasquez and the 13 people she was meeting with attended a breakfast hours before the Hudson River tragedy. The family had breakfast at Brisas Bakery and Restaurant, where they also bought food to take to the boat.
“On (Tuesday) morning the whole family came here at nine. They bought empanadas, bread with cheese, ice cream, everything, ”she recounted.
The accident occurred on Tuesday at 2:45 pm local time. A video also released by the New York Post shows that the boat was moving normally when, from one moment to another, she was lost from sight in the water.
According to the authorities, the owner of the boat in which they were transported was the one who gave notice of the accident, since he was following them closely on a jet ski.
Ten of the people inside the boat were rescued by emergency teams, but divers had to pull Lindelia Vásquez and Julián Vásquez out of the water, who were trapped under the ship.
The local newspaper New York Daily News said Wednesday that some versions indicate that the wake of a ferry passing through the area destabilized the boat and caused it to turn over.
However, the ferry company denied that any of its boats were close to the area where the tragedy occurred.
“The company can say with absolute certainty that there were no ferries in the vicinity before the incident and that a wake from one of their boats did not cause the vessel to capsize,” NY Waterways spokesman Wiley Norvell told the Post.
“The closest ferry was at least four minutes from the accident site (…) That is a very large distance from which there could not be a perceptible wake,” he added in a dialogue with the aforementioned media.
Other US media assure that investigations are seeking to clarify if the capacity of the boat was exceeded on the family trip, causing the accident. One
of the members of the coast guard said that the weight of the boat, malfunction, speed, or mechanical failure could be the cause of the tragedy.
A witness told the media that people clung to the top of the boat and the jet ski that was nearby.
“There were about four people at the top of the bottom of the boat screaming (…) I couldn’t make out anything other than their screams,” said Raidy Garcia, the witness.
The Colombian Victims
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the two victims were Colombians and that ” there were more Colombians on the boat who were injured as a result of this accident.” Although they did not specify the exact number of nationals affected by the event.
Orozco, the family friend, told the New York Post that Colombian Lindelia Vásquez had immigrated to the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey, almost 20 years ago and that she worked in a restaurant.
New York authorities said the victims are not mother and son, so the relationship between the deceased is being established. National media report that it is about the woman and her nephew.
The Colombian Foreign Ministry assured that the Colombian Consulate General in New York learned of the events on the same day of the accident and that “it managed to establish contact with the relatives of the victims to provide them with the corresponding consular assistance.
” “Because one of the victims lived in Elizabeth, a city located in the State of New Jersey, the Consulates in Newark and New York work in an articulated way to accompany the relatives in this painful moment, “they added.
The other Colombians who were injured in the accident remain in medical centers and the consular offices of Colombia monitor their health status.