42 migrants feared dead after boat to Canaries capsizes off Western Sahara: NGO

42 migrants feared dead after boat to Canaries capsizes off Western Sahara: NGO
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Around 40 migrants were feared dead after a boat carrying 50 people, bound for the Canaries from Western Sahara, capsized, NGO Caminando Fronteras said.
The boat had been carrying 50 people, with most now feared dead [Mahmut Serdar Alakus/Anadolu/Getty-file photo]

About 40 migrants were feared dead after a boat carrying about 50 people travelling from Western Sahara to Spain's Canary Islands capsized, a Spanish non-governmental organisation, said on Friday.

"Tragedy: forty-two people, among those thirty women, eight children and four men, died when a boat capsized off the coast of Dakhla," tweeted Helena Maleno of Caminando Fronteras, which monitors migratory flows.

Official sources, quoted by the Spanish newspaper El Pais, said the number of people feared dead was 30.

Maleno said 10 people survived and were picked up by fishermen.

The accident happened when the migrant boat set out in bad weather on Tuesday but details had only emerged on Friday.

From 1 January to 31 July, at least 7,531 people reached Spain's Canary Islands from Western Africa, according to Spanish government figures, a 136% rise compared with the same period in 2020.

Caminando Fronteras claims during the first six months of 2021 2,087 migrants died or disappeared as they tried to make the perilous voyage by sea to Spain from Western Africa.

(Reuters)