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21 migrants dead, 9 missing after boat sinks off Turkey’s Black Sea coast

Migrants are increasingly trying to cross the Black Sea from Turkey to reach Romania.

world Updated: Sep 22, 2017 23:47 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press, Ankara
Turkey,Boat Sinks,Migrants
Turkish medics carry a survivor from a capsized ship to a hospital in Kocaeli, Turkey, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. (AP)

A fishing boat carrying migrants sank Friday off Turkey’s Black Sea coast, killing at least 21 people and leaving up to nine others missing, the Turkish coast guard said.

At least 40 migrants were rescued by coast guard boats and commercial ships, the Coast Guard Command said.

The fishing vessel sank just before dawn off the coast of Kefken, 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of Istanbul, the coast guard said. It said a coast guard plane and two boats were dispatched after a commercial ship reported a distress signal from a fishing vessel.

There was no information on the nationalities of the migrants or where they were heading to. Migrants, however, are increasingly trying to cross the Black Sea from Turkey to reach Romania, a European Union nation.

Ambulances and medical teams carried out medical checks. Two injured survivors were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital by helicopter, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. A pregnant woman miscarried during the tragedy, it added.

The coast guard plane, a helicopter, three vessels as well as five commercial ships joined the search and rescue effort for the migrants who are still unaccounted for, the coast guard said.

Turkish officials say more than 830 migrants were caught at sea along with 10 suspected smugglers while trying to cross the Black Sea in seven separate incidents between Aug. 13 and Sept. 9.

First Published: Sep 22, 2017 23:41 IST