The number of bodies retrieved after a migrant boat capsized off the Egyptian coast on Wednesday has reached at least 162, as the search continues, a provincial official said on Friday.
“18 more bodies were retrieved as at this afternoon, bringing the number of victims to 162.
“A total of 164 people have been rescued since the boat sank on Wednesday off Beheira’s town of Rosetta,’’ the governor of the Delta Beheira province, Mohamed Sultan, said.
It was gathered that the boat was carrying between 450 and 600 migrants when it sank eight miles (12km) off the port city of Rosetta.
Those rescued were 121 Egyptians, including four crew members, and 43 foreign migrants.
“There were many children and women among the victims.
“Search operations were ongoing on Friday but no further survivors were reported found that day.
“On Thursday, Egyptian authorities jailed the four crew members pending an inquiry into the accident, which is the deadliest of its kind in recent years,’’ he said.
Four crew members have been arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter and human trafficking, Egyptian officials said.
The boat, which was kept off the coast for five days as more migrants were brought on board, is said to have capsized after a final group of some 150 people were crammed onto the vessel.