Death toll from migrant boat sinking off Greece rises to 82

This undated handout image provided by Greece's coast guard on Wednesday, June14, 2023, shows scores of people covering practically every free stretch of deck on a battered fishing boat that later capsized and sank off southern Greece. (Hellenic Coast Guard via AP)

The death toll from last week’s sinking of a fishing boat crammed with refugees and migrants off the coast of southwestern Greece climbed to 82, with hundreds more feared drowned.

The body of a migrant was recovered in an area close to the sinking, said the state-run AMNA news agency, adding that search operations are still underway with the participation of a Greek frigate, helicopter and aircraft.

A total of 104 people have been rescued, but the death toll is expected to rise as survivors said the vessel was carrying more than 600 migrants, mostly from Pakistan, Egypt and Syria.

According to human rights groups, the Greek Coast Guard may have ignored SOS signals from the boat, while some survivors accused Greek authorities of being directly involved in the accident.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor in the Greek city of Kalamata decided that nine survivors, reportedly Egyptian citizens, who were arrested on suspicion of being human traffickers will remain under temporary detention, public broadcaster ERT reported, adding all of them rejected the accusation and maintained they are innocent.

It said, however, that one of them pointed to four co-defendants as the traffickers.


Source: TRT