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Egyptian Salvage Workers Recover More Bodies From Sunken Migrant Boat

  • VOA News

Egyptian coast guard and rescue workers bring ashore bodies recovered from a Europe-bound boat that capsized off Egypt's Mediterranean coast last week, in Rosetta, Egypt, Sept. 27, 2016.

Egyptian coast guard and rescue workers bring ashore bodies recovered from a Europe-bound boat that capsized off Egypt's Mediterranean coast last week, in Rosetta, Egypt, Sept. 27, 2016.

Egyptian salvage workers Tuesday pulled the bodies of dozens of migrants from the hold of a sunken fishing boat in the coastal Mediterranean, raising the toll from the September 21 disaster to more than 200 dead.

Survivors have said 450 to 600 migrants, including many women and children, were packed aboard the trawler when it capsized in pre-dawn darkness off the port city of Rosetta as it headed for Europe.

Military authorities said most of the victims so far identified were Egyptians from the Nile Delta region, many of them teenagers seeking a better life in Europe. But local reports said Africans from several nations and Syrians were also aboard the doomed boat.

Tuesday's recoveries came after divers and a salvage vessel pulled the trawler from the mud of the seafloor, enabling teams to retrieve bodies trapped in the boat's hold. On shore, emergency officials later said there were no more bodies on board.

Local police on Monday detained the boat's owner, who according to local reports could face charges of human trafficking and involuntary manslaughter.

The International Organization for Migration says 3,500 migrants have died or gone missing so far this year while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. The IOM says that tally represents a nearly 600-person increase over the figure from the same period last year.

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