Thursday, September 22, 2016

Death toll rises to 42 in Egypt's capsized migrant boat

The death toll of the capsized migrant boat near Egypt's northern coast on Wednesday rose to 42, while six were wounded and 35 others rescued after first aid treatment in hospitals, the Egyptian Health Ministry's official spokesman Khaled Megahed told Xinhua.

The migrant boat that drowned near the coast of Egypt's northern Beheira province carried about 600 people onboard whose destination was supposed to be Italian shores, according to official MENA news agency.

Although other reports said that over 150 people were rescued, Megahed clarified that the Health Ministry's data are restricted to those survivors who received first aid treatment at the ministry's hospitals.

"The total number of survivors can be received from the Interior Ministry, but the Health Ministry's reports are based only on those admitted to hospitals and survived after receiving first aid treatment," he told Xinhua.

The boat set off from the Borg Meghizal village in Kafr El-Sheikh province and was on its way to Italy when it drowned at nearby Beheira waters.

The border guards rescued dozens of people from the boat, sent some of them to nearby hospitals while the rescue process was still going on.

Illegal migration via Egyptian Mediterranean Sea shores rose over the past few years in attempts to reach Europe and flee difficult economic conditions in the most populous Arab country.

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