Log In


Reset Password
Associated Press

France says pregnant women among 27 dead in English Channel

France's interior minister says pregnant women and children are among at least 27 migrants killed trying to cross the English Channel in a small boat that sank

CALAIS, France (AP) - Children and pregnant women were among at least 27 migrants who died when their small boat sank in an attempted crossing of the English Channel, a French government official said Thursday.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin also announced the arrest of a fifth suspected trafficker thought to have been involved in what was the deadliest migration tragedy to date on the dangerous sea lane.

In their immediate response to the sinking, French authorities gave slightly differing figures on the numbers of dead, from between 27 to 31. The figure that Darmanin used Thursday was 27.

Darmanin said authorities are working to determine the nationalities of victims from the sinking on Wednesday. Two survivors were treated for hypothermia. One is Iraqi, the other Somali, Darmanin said on RTL radio.

“Pregnant women, children died," he said, without detailing their numbers.

Darmanin on Wednesday had already announced the arrest of four suspected traffickers on suspicion of being linked to the sunken boat. He told RTL that a fifth suspected trafficker was picked up overnight.

___

Follow AP's global migration coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin answers the press in Calais, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. At least 31 migrants bound for Britain died Wednesday when their boat sank in the English Channel, in what France's interior minister called the biggest tragedy involving migrants on the dangerous crossing to date. (AP Photo)
Activists and members of associations defending migrants' rights gather with posters reading "Human rights, outraged, smashed, martyrized" outside the port of Calais, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. At least 31 migrants bound for Britain died Wednesday when their boat sank in the English Channel, in what France's interior minister called the biggest tragedy involving migrants on the dangerous crossing to date. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
A rescue workers truck leaves the port of Calais, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. At least 31 migrants bound for Britain died Wednesday when their boat sank in the English Channel, in what France's interior minister called the biggest tragedy involving migrants on the dangerous crossing to date. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
French police officers patrol on the beach in the searcher migrants in Wimereux, northern France, Wednesday, Nov.17, 2021. Several migrants died and others were injured Wednesday Nov.24, 2021 when their boat capsized off Calais in the English Channel as they tried to cross from France to Britain, authorities said. British and French authorities were searching the area using helicopters and coast guard vessels, according to the French maritime agency for the region. (AP Photo/Louis Witter, File)
Activists and members of associations defending migrants' rights gather with posters outside the port of Calais, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. At least 31 migrants bound for Britain died Wednesday when their boat sank in the English Channel, in what France's interior minister called the biggest tragedy involving migrants on the dangerous crossing to date. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)