Wednesday, 31 July 2013

At least 24 migrants dead after boat capsizes in Aegean Sea off Turkey’s coast

At least 24 people drowned early Wednesday after a boat carrying illegal immigrants trying to reach Europe capsized off western Turkey, local media reported.

The speed boat carrying 30 illegal migrants sank 10 miles offshore from the Tavakli village in Turkey's northwestern Canakkale province due to unknown reasons.

The boat's captain told the coastguard at 02:00 am local time (2300 GMT): "We are sinking. There are 30 people in the boat," before contact was cut off, according to the private Dogan news agency.

Turkish coastguard recovered 24 dead bodies and rescued 12 immigrants including citizens of Syria, Burma and Afghanistan. The search and rescue operation was still continuing.

The boat that sank off Turkey's Aegean coast was supposed to take the illegal immigrants to the Greek island of Lesbos, Dogan reported.

Rescuers were continuing the search.

Turkey has become a hub for illegal immigrants who aspire to cross into European countries for better lives. Neighbouring Greece is the busiest entry point for illegal immigrants trying to reach the European Union.

Wednesday 31 July 2013


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