Asylum seekers boat crashes off Christmas Island, 30 feared dead

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Sydney, Dec 15 (ANI): As many as 30 asylum seekers are feared dead after a boat carrying about 70 people smashed into the sea off Christmas Island.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, 41 survivors have been have been rescued after the tragic incident near Flying Fish Cove about 10am (AEDT) today.

The paper quoted Christmas Island Shire President Gordon Thomson as saying that there were people in the water crying out for help.

According to an eye witness who was watching the tragedy unfold 200 metres away, the boat hit rocks and broken up into pieces.

"Unless they pick them up very quick I don't think they have much chance of surviving, its very rough," the paper quoted him, as saying.

"There is debris out in front. The hull is just floating past me now. It is broken up into bits and pieces. I have seen a lot of things that could have been people. It is raining and hazy but I wouldn't doubt they could have been bodies," he added.

According to the maritime weather website willyweather.com.au, Christmas Island was being battered by 3.7-metre swell and 24-knot winds blowing directly onshore at 7am today.

Bureau of Meteorology severe weather regional manager Andrew Burton said that the tempestuous conditions were expected to remain for several days because of a monsoon in the area. (ANI)

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