Off the Syrian coast: More than 60 dead in boat accident

Dozens of people have died in an accident off the Syrian coast. The boat left Lebanon on Tuesday.

Ambulances are in the port of the Syrian city of Tartous

According to the Syrian government, at least 73 dead have been recovered so far Photo: Saleh Sliman/Reuters

DAMASCUS dpa | In a boat accident off the Syrian coast, the death toll has risen to more than 60. The fate of around 70 other people is unclear, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Friday. 21 people have been rescued so far. As the search operation continued, concerns of an even higher death toll were high.

A source in the Syrian Ministry of Transport said some survivors had also been found. They were taken to a hospital in the Syrian coastal city of Tartus for treatment.

The boat with people of different nationalities originally left Lebanon on Tuesday, a source in the port of Tripoli in northern Lebanon told the German Press Agency. "They wanted to reach Europe," said a relative of one of the boat victims in Tripoli. The people are desperate. "They want to leave Lebanon because the living conditions are unbearable."

The boat capsized off the island of Arwad near the port city of Tartus in Syrian waters. Again and again, many people from the civil war country dare the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea.

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