Several migrants missing after boat sinks off Bangladesh coast

Several migrants missing after boat sinks off Bangladesh coast
# 29 January 2015 18:53 (UTC +04:00)
The Bangladesh Coast Guard said on Thursday that the boat carrying migrants hit strong currents shortly after leaving a coastal town near the southern port city of Chittagong.
“It’s a small fishing trawler which was overloaded. It sank as it tried to make a turn in a dangerous channel near the Kutubdia Island,” said Maruf Hassan, the Bangladeshi Coast Guard commander.
Security sources say the passengers were heading to Malaysia illegally.
Reports say some passengers managed to swim to the shore, but others are still unaccounted for.
The rescuers and emergency workers have reportedly rescued 39 people in the Bay of Bengal.
Meanwhile, rescued passengers have said that the small boat had up to 70 people aboard.
“We have heard from passengers that up to 70 passengers were on board when it capsized,” Hassan added.
Thousands of ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and poor Bangladeshis try to immigrate to Malaysia every year on a perilous and sometimes fatal journey.
In October and November 2012, at least 100 Rohingyas lost their lives in two boating tragedies off the Bangladesh coast.
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