Children, Pregnant Woman Drown In Channel


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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy

(Worthy News) – Among 27 migrants who died after their boat sank near Calais, , were 17 men, seven women – one of whom was pregnant – and three children, France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

A joint search and rescue operation by British and French authorities was launched to find survivors among the migrants who attempted to reach through the Channel.

But these efforts were eventually called off late on Wednesday, authorities confirmed.

French reported that the dead are believed to be Iraqi or Iranian Kurds.

The cause of Wednesday’s accident remained unknown Thursday, but rescuers revealed that when they reached the long inflatable boat, the migrants were using, it mainly was deflated.

The deadliest migration disaster on the intensively-used route comes while thousands of people fleeing , persecution, and poverty are trying to reach Western European nations.

DEATHS PREVENTABLE

However, the refugee agency UNHCR said the deaths could have been avoided and called for a coordinated response to prevent more tragedies.

Facing mounting pressure to act, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron said they agreed Thursday “to do everything possible to stop the gangs responsible.”

Their pledge to tackle human smuggling came while French announced they made five arrests connected to Wednesday’s fatal crossing.

However, Johnson said France should do more to stop migrants from crossing. Macron countered that Britain needed to “stop politicizing the issue.”

Their tense talks about migration came after both nations already disagreed about fishing rights following Britain’s recent exit from the , known as “.”

But Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel said in separate remarks that she had renewed an offer to start joint patrols with France to end the influx of migrants.

The victims were among the 31,500 people who have tried to leave for Britain since the start of the year, French authorities said. Thousands have been rescued at sea.

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