Cairo, Sept 22: At least 42 persons were killed after a boat with some 600 refugees on board capsized off the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, authorities said. The accident occurred on Wednesday near Kafr al-Shiekh governorate.
A senior official told EFE news that the boat was carrying mainly Egyptians, Syrians, Sudanese, Eritrean and Somali migrants. At least 10 women and two children were among the victims. According to local media, the coast guard have rescued some 150 survivors from the boat, meaning some 400 were still missing. A local government spokesperson could only confirm that the number of people found alive was 105, and that some 100 of them have been transferred to the public hospital in the city of Rashid, Al Bahira province.
The boat departed from a point between Rashid and Baltim, where the coast is not very populated. The boats carrying migrants usually depart from this area with most of them bound for the Italian mainland. The number of migrants trying to reach Europe using Egypt as a departure point has increased in recent months. So far this year, until September 20, some 2,766 people, mainly from Libya, have died trying to reach Europe via the so-called central Mediterranean route. (IANS)