At Least 27 Dead After Migrant Boat Capsizes in English Channel
France’s interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, said that the dead included five women and a girl.
At least 27 migrants drowned after a boat trying to reach Britain capsized in the English Channel, off the coast of France, on Wednesday, 24 November, recording one of the worst death tolls in recent years for migrants attempting to cross the channel.
France’s interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, said that the dead included five women and a girl, who were part of a group whose “extremely fragile” boat was found completely deflated by rescuers, New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said in a tweet, “I am shocked, appalled and deeply saddened by the loss of life at sea in the Channel.”
Further, calling on an immediate tightening of border controls and an increased crackdown on immigrant smugglers, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement, “France won’t let the Channel become a graveyard.”
As per local maritime authorities, rescue ships and helicopters were sent out after a fishing vessel alerted them that several people were lost off the coast of Calais, New York Times reported.
There have been 47,000 attempts to cross the Channel and 7,800 migrants had been saved from shipwrecks within 2021 itself, according to French officials.
Before Wednesday's incident, seven people had died or disappeared this year.
Darmanin added that four suspected traffickers accused of being directly linked to the crossing in a long inflatable boat had been arrested, AFP reported.
Meanwhile, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel was quoted as saying that the tragedy "serves as the starkest possible reminder of the dangers of these Channel crossings organised by ruthless criminal gangs," CNN reported.
(With inputs from The New York Times, CNN, and AFP.)
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