Four people dead and 15-month-old baby still missing after migrant boat sinks

A family who died attempting to cross the Channel have been named as their 15-month-old son remains missing.

Rasoul Iran-Nejad, 35, Shiva Mohammad Panahi, also 35, nine-year-old Anita and Armin, six – members of a Kurdish-Iranian family – died while crossing the waterway separating France and the UK.

Baby boy Artin has not yet been found.

Another 15 migrants were taken to hospital and an investigation into the sinking has been opened in Dunkirk by the French public prosecutor. Eight were suffering from hypothermia and two went into cardiac arrest.

The family were from the city of Sardasht in western Iran, near to the border with Iraq, according to the BBC.

Fellow migrant Choman Manish, who is at a makeshift refugee camp in Dunkirk, said: "It's so sad because I know this family.

"I advised them please don't go by boat it's not a good situation. It's a really bad situation if you stay in the water, it will be bad for you."

The French coastguard confirmed searches at sea for any further people from the boat did not resume on Wednesday.

  • Human stampede kills at least 15 after thousands gather to apply for visas

Conditions in the Channel had been rough early on Tuesday and a vessel was spotted about 2km off the French coast by a passing sailing boat at about 9.30am local time. It alerted the French authorities.

Four French vessels, one Belgian helicopter and a French fishing boat took part in the desperate search and rescue operation.

But by the time rescue teams reached the struggling boat, it had already sunk.

  • Migrants force soldiers to stop firing drill after running onto shooting range

Charity Care4Calais, which delivers aid to refugees, said the "loss of life should be a wake-up call for those in power in France and the UK".

It called for a system that would allow asylum seekers to apply for refuge in the UK from outside its borders to "put an end to terrifying, dangerous sea crossings and stop tragedy striking again".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his thoughts were with the victims' loved ones.

He said: "We have offered the French authorities every support as they investigate this terrible incident, and will do all we can to crack down on the ruthless criminal gangs who prey on vulnerable people by facilitating these dangerous journeys."

More than 7,400 people have attempted to cross the Channel in small boats in 2020.

Source: Read Full Article