London: At least 27 people have been killed after a boat carrying refugees sank while trying to cross the English Channel. A small dinghy carrying refugees sank on Wednesday near Calais, on the north coast of France.
This is the first time a boat accident has claimed the lives of so many people in a strait between France and the UK. The fisherman said that the small dinghy boat was carrying so many people because the sea was calmer than usual. The security forces were alerted by a fisherman who noticed an unmanned dinghy and dead bodies floating in the sea.
The body was later found during a joint search by French-British Coast Guard helicopters and boats. French police have arrested four people in connection with the incident. Two were rescued with serious injuries. It is not clear what country the dead were from. According to the UN refugee agency, this is the worst disaster to hit the English Channel since 2014. French Prime Minister Jean-Costa has declared the boat accident a disaster.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, has expressed shock at the accident, saying France should take strong action to prevent refugees from crossing the canal. This year, 31,500 people tried to cross the English Channel. Of these, 7,800 were rescued from the sea.