• search
For Quick Alerts
For Daily Alerts

Egypt migrant shipwreck death toll rises to 55


Rosetta (Egypt), Sept 23: Rescuers brought more bodies ashore on Friday after a boat crowded with migrants capsized off the Egyptian coast, leaving at least 55 people dead and dozens missing.

Survivors said up to 450 migrants had been aboard the fishing vessel when it sank on Thursday about 12 kilometres (eight miles) from Egypt's Mediterranean port city of Rosetta. A health ministry official said 55 bodies had been retrieved.

Egypt shipwreck death toll rises to 55

According to the military, 163 survivors have been rescued. Authorities have arrested four suspected human traffickers over the tragedy, the latest in what the UN refugee agency expects to be the deadliest year on record for the Mediterranean.

Military boats were seen bringing corpses to shore in body bags, one containing the body of a child whose grandfather recognised him and knelt down in shock. Rescuers said the search would focus on the boat's cold storage room where witnesses said about 100 people had been when the vessel flipped over.

"The death toll is going to rise," a medical source told AFP. "On the boat there is a hold used to store fish. It hasn't been opened and there must be a lot of people inside."

The accident comes months after the EU's border agency Frontex warned that growing numbers of Europe-bound migrants were using Egypt as a departure point for the dangerous journey. Traffickers often overload the boats, some of them scarcely seaworthy, with passengers who have paid for the crossing.

On a beach near Rosetta on Thursday, a small crowd gathered with some reading verses from the Koran and others desperately seeking information on relatives who may have been on board.

Many survivors were in police custody. A prosecution official said they would be treated like "victims and not perpetrators" and would be released. Witnesses spoke of the harrowing moment their vessel keeled over due to overcrowding, as well as the agonising hours-long wait for help to arrive.


For Daily Alerts
Get Instant News Updates
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more