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Death-toll in Egypt's migrant shipwreck reaches 179

27 settembre 2016 | 15.03
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Photo:AFP

The number of migrants who perished when their boat capsized off Egypt's Mediterranean port of Rosetta rose to 179 on Tuesday, state-run daily Al-Ahram Online reported.

The dead in last week's shipwreck include 94 Egyptians and 75 foreigners, Al-Ahram said, citing local officials.

The death-toll rose after the sunken vessel was raised from the sea-bed and floated, the daily said.

Al-Ahram cited eye-witnesses as saying bodies were found in the boat but it was not clear how many so far, it said.

The daily also cited survivors as saying at least 100 migrants including many women and children were inside the cooling storage unit below the fishing boat's deck.

The wooden boat was carrying around 450 migrants when it sank last Wednesday en route for Italy but was believed to have a maximum capacity of 150 passengers, according to eyewitness estimates cited by Al-Ahram.

The boat's owner has been arrested, Arabic satellite news channel Al-Arabiya reported on Tuesday.

A total 175 migrants were rescued after the shipwreck. Some said they were in the water for seven hours before they were picked up, Al-Ahram reported.

Four crew members were arrested last week and detained on the orders of prosecutors in Beheira province pending an investigation, Al-Ahram said.

They face charges of human trafficking, wrongful death, wrongful injury and using a fishing boat for another purpose, Al-Ahram said.

Egypt’s president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called on Saturday for the prosecution of the traffickers behind the disaster, Al-Ahram said.

Among the shipwreck survivors were 111 Egyptians, 26 Sudanese, 13 Eritreans, two Somalis, one Syrian and one Ethiopian national, the International Organisation for Migration said on Friday, citing local authorities.

A total of 302,149 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 25 September, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy, while 3,501 died making the journey, the IOM said in its latest update on Tuesday.

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