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Lebanon ship mishap death toll hits seven, over 45 missing

Jerome Kalu

No fewer than one additional body has been recovered from the sea, increasing the death toll recorded after a small boat conveying about 60 passengers capsized on the coast of Tripoli, in Lebanon.

Aside from the recovered bodies, at least 45 other passengers of the ill-fated boat were reported still missing after the mishap that occurred in the city.

The ship was said to be conveying migrants including Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians when it capsized and the accident has been attributed to overloading of the boat.

In an interview with newsmen on Monday, the head of Tripoli’s port authority, Ahmad Tamer, who confirmed the death toll, said that the additional body was recovered by search and rescue team.

Tamer noted that the search and rescue operations have been intensified to ensure that all missing passengers were recovered from the sea.

“The rescue operations went all night and the Lebanese army was able to find the body of a woman.”  “The total number of victims is now seven,” he added.

Earlier, the relatives of deceased and missing passengers as well as those that survived the mishap gathered outside various hospitals where the injured passengers were being treated to demand for quick rescue and recovery of all missing passengers.

Also, at the port, other relatives of missing passengers converged at the entrance to demand information on their missing loved ones, even after they were told that one more body had been recovered by the research and rescue team

Lebanon’s economic crisis has seen the loss of  local currency, in which more than 90 percent of its value and pushed waves of Lebanese as well as Syrian refugees to try the dangerous sea journey to Europe on small dinghies.

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