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12 killed as migrant boat sinks near Greek island

ANI  |  Europe 

At least 12 people were killed after a migrant smuggling boat sank near the island of Paxos in western Greece on Saturday, authorities said.

The Greek Coast Guard told The New York Times that bodies of the 12 people were recovered from the Ionian Sea near the west coast of Greece.

The authorities were alerted that the vessel was in trouble shortly after 9 a.m. (local time), when one of the migrants on board phoned the emergency services. No details were immediately available about the identities of the victims.

The cause of the sinking was also unclear, according to the Coast Guard spokesman, Nikolaos Lagadianos. Weather conditions had been good, he said.

But the boat may have been overloaded, he added, noting that about 50 people may have been on board.

A large search-and-rescue operation was underway, the Coast Guard said, with six Coast Guard vessels scouring the area alongside two Air Force helicopters, a Navy helicopter and four fishing boats.

He added that 21 people had so far been rescued.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 12 2020. 02:32 IST