At least 60 people, among them women and children, are likely to have lost their lives following an incident in which a boat carrying Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar capsized in rough waters off Bangladesh.
Witnesses and survivors said the incident took place on Thursday, when the vessel overturned in waters close to Patuwartek, some eight kilometers off Inani Beach in Cox’s Bazar District, after it was lashed y torrential rain and high winds.
“Twenty three people have been confirmed dead… 40 are missing and presumed drowned,” the spokesman for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Joel Millman, told reporters in Geneva. “The total fatality toll be in the range of 60.”
A man cries among the bodies of Rohingya refugee children and women who died after their boat capsized, before their funeral near the Inani Beach in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on September 29, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
There is speculations that the death toll may rise as more than 100 Rohingya were on board the boat.
“It’s a very sad story. There were a hundred Rohingya on board when it sank,” Hala Jaber, another IOM spokesperson told AFP, adding that search efforts were ongoing.—Agencies