CALAIS (France) — A French official claimed Thursday that at least 27 migrants died after their small boat capsized while trying to cross the English Channel.
Gerald Darmanin, Interior Minister, announced also the arrest of a fifth suspected human trafficker believed to be involved in the most tragic migration disaster to date on dangerous sea lane.
France’s authorities provided slightly different figures for the number of dead in their immediate response to the sinking. They ranged from 27 to 31. Darmanin used 27.
Darmanin stated that authorities are trying to determine the nationalities and origins of the victims of Wednesday’s sinking. Two hypothermic survivors were treated. Darmanin stated that one of the survivors was from Iraq and the other was Somalian.
He said that “Pregnant mothers, children died”, but did not detail their numbers.
On Wednesday, Darmanin had already announced that four suspected traffickers were being held on suspicion of being connected to the sunken vessel. RTL was informed by Darmanin that a fifth suspect trafficker had been arrested overnight.