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Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Death toll in migrant boat accident off Egyptian coast reaches 165

Authorities have recovered dozens of victims' bodies in the boat disaster but many are still missing

Yasser Shemis in Beheira , Saturday 24 Sep 2016
Migrant
File Photo: Refugees and migrants are rescued by French navy personnel from an overcrowded boat in the Mediterranean in September 2015 (Photo: AFP)
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The official death toll from the capsizing of a migrant boat off the coast of Egypt on Wednesday had climbed to 165 on Saturday morning, with 52 families still looking for their missing relatives.

The boat, which capsized on Wednesday, was carrying migrants of a number of nationalities to Italy.

Eyewitnesses estimated the boat was carrying around 450 migrants, 300 over an estimated maximum passenger capacity of 150 people.

A total of 164 people have been rescued including the four crew members of the boat, 117 Egyptian migrants and 43 foreign migrants.

Authorities have recovered dozens of victims' bodies in the boat disaster but many are still missing.

There are many children and women among the victims.

According to survivors' testimonies, after the boat sank, they remained in the water for seven hours before being discovered.

On Thursday, Egyptian prosecutors ordered the arrest and detention of the four crew members for four days pending investigation over charges of human trafficking, wrongful death, wrongful injury and using a fishing boat for another purpose.

In recent years, thousands of refugees and migrants have attempted to cross the Mediterranean in search of better jobs and opportunities.

 

The Egyptian Mediterranean coastline has been one of the main departure points for migrant boats.

 

Egyptian security forces have halted many irregular migration attempts in recent months.

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