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Friday, 15 November 2013 02:27

Greece: 12 migrants dead after boat capsizes

   ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Twelve migrants were found dead Friday and 15 were rescued after a boat capsized in western Greece, authorities said, while a coast guard search continued for more possible victims and survivors.

   The Merchant Marine Ministry said the incident occurred early Friday, off the coast of Lefkada, an island in the Ionian Sea and the migrants were presumed to have been headed to nearby Italy. There was no immediate indication of where the voyage originated.

   Ministry officials said the migrants were using a plastic boat that was 7-8 meters (23-26 feet) in length. The survivors were being taken to a hospital on the island for observation.

   Greece is the European Union's busiest transit point for illegal immigration.

   

Published in National News

   KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — An overloaded ferry capsized after hitting rocks in a remote river in Malaysia's part of tropical Borneo island on Tuesday, leaving an unknown number of people missing, police said. Some survivors swam ashore, and a search was underway.

   The vessel was believed to be carrying much more than its recommended limit of 74 passengers, said Bakar Sibau, a district police chief in Malaysia's Sarawak state.

   Bakar said there appeared to be dozens of survivors, but he did not have exact numbers. Some people swam ashore, and police divers, fire department officers and villagers were searching for the missing passengers.

   "We hope they will be OK," Bakar said of the missing.

   The boat was packed because many people are heading to their home villages for a harvest festival holiday that Borneo's indigenous tribes will celebrate later this week, Bakar said.

   Rom Kulleh, a political aide who flew in a helicopter over the river shortly after the accident, said he and his state legislator boss saw the overturned boat.

   "We spotted some people being saved by villagers in smaller boats," Rom told the AP.

   The accident occurred midway through a 130-kilometer (80-mile) journey that usually takes about three hours.

   Rivers form the main transportation network for hundreds of thousands of people in sprawling Sarawak. Public concerns about safety, including the enforcement of rules for ferry capacity, have occasionally emerged, but major boat accidents in Sarawak are rare.

   Borneo island is divided among three countries: Indonesian territory in the south, two Malaysian states in the north and tiny Brunei on the north coast.

Published in National News

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