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Death toll from Rohingya boat capsize likely to top 60: UN migration agency

The drowning tragedy is the latest in a series of deadly accidents as desperate refugees surge into Bangladesh

AFP | PTI  |  Geneva 

A Rohingya family reaches the Bangladesh border after crossing a creek of the Naf river on the border with Myanmmar, in Cox's Bazar's Teknaf area. (File Photo: AP/PTI)
A Rohingya family reaches the Bangladesh border after crossing a creek of the Naf river on the border with Myanmmar, in Cox's Bazar's Teknaf area. (File Photo: AP/PTI)

The death toll from a boat which capsized off Bangladesh carrying is set to pass 60, the said today.

"Twenty-three people have been confirmed dead ... 40 are missing and presumed drowned," Organization for Migration (IOM) spokesperson Joel Millman told reporters in Geneva, referring to the accident.


"The total fatality toll is in the range of 60," he added, updating a previous toll of 19.

Survivors from the accident told IOM staff that the boat was carrying about 80 people, including 50 children, who were believed to be fleeing violence from Myanmar's northern Rakhine state.

"Survivors described being at sea all night, having no food," Millman said.

The drowning tragedy is the latest in a series of deadly accidents as desperate refugees surge into Bangladesh, where they are penned into ramshackle tent cities amid dire shortages of nearly all forms of aid.

Witnesses and survivors previously said that the overturned vessel was just metres from the coast in rough waters, after it was lashed by torrential rain and high winds.

"The Bay of Bengal has been a notorious killing zone for many years," Millman added, highlighting the dangers facing Rohingya seeking safety via the sea.

He added that the "captain" of the vessel, who is a suspected trafficker, is missing and presumed dead, but not included in IOM's death toll, which counts only the

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, September 29 2017. 15:47 IST
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