Fifty-one migrants drown off Turkish coast

Fifty-one migrants drowned trying to cross from Turkey to Greece when their boat sank early on Sunday morning, the Dogan news agency reported on Monday.

Fifty-one migrants drown off Turkish coast
A worker at a hotel near the town of Seferihisar in the province of Aegean province of Izmir raised the alarm at 12:30 am Monday (2230 GMT Sunday) after seeing people in the sea seeking help.

Local administrator Sefik Guldibi told the Anadolu news agency that the 15-metre boat carrying the migrants sank not long after setting out. Guldibi said rescue operations began Sunday night and that six people were found alive.

Three of those rescued were reported to be Palestinians.

"Those we rescued said there were between 60 to 70 on board the boat," Guldibi said. "We are scared that the death toll will rise."

Local fisherman joined Coastal Guard patrol boats and helicopters in searching the area where the boat sank.

Guldibi said heavy storms and overcrowding was the likely reason for the boat sinking.

In a separate incident three people drowned when their boat sank crossing from the Turkish port of Alanya to northern Cyprus, the Anadolu news agency reported.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Aralık 2007, 11:37