The victims were bathing in a river during a spiritual retreat when the water level rose abruptly.
The overflowing of a river caused by heavy rains left at least 8 people dead during a Christian retreat in the city of Lobatera of the state of Táchira, a region of the Venezuelan Andes bordering Colombia.
“There was a heavy fall of water in the high part of the mountain, which produced an overflow that took a group of people with it”, said the governor of Táchira, Freddy Bernal, on Saturday in a statement posted on his social media.
This “regrettable tragedy” took place when some of the 36 members of the Methodist church who were taking part in the activity were in the river, which rose abruptly, dragging several people with it.
Four of the dead were between 12 and 17 years old, according to police records obtained by AFP news agency. The ages of the rest of the victims ranged from 19 to 25.
The search and recovery of the bodies was difficult due to the geographic characteristics of this mountainous region.
Among the victims rescued, some showed signs of hypothermia, as reported by the rescuers in images posted on social media.