At least 37 migrants have drowned after a ship sank in the Aegean Sea on the way to Greece, the Turkish Coast Guard says. The coast guard was able to save 75 people and continues to look for more survivors.
At least 10 children were among the dead, including four toddlers or infants, The Associated Press reports. The victims were mostly Syrians.
“The Turkish coast guard said three ships, a helicopter and team of divers were searching the partially submerged craft and surrounding seas for more bodies as police on shore placed bodies, among them at least five children, in black bags,” the AP writes. “Journalists at the scene tried to interview some of the 75 survivors, but police took them away in buses, some bound for a local hospital to be treated for hypothermia and other injuries, others into police custody for questioning.”
Photos of the scene show the bodies of young children and at least one woman lying on the rocky shore of the coastline, partially covered by life jackets, as other corpses are carried away in body bags.
The deputy governor for Turkey’s Canakkale province, Saim Eskioglu, told CNN-Turk that officials believe there may be more bodies inside the submerged boat, the AP reports.
The 56-foot boat, packed with more than 100 migrants, “hit rocks shortly after it left the coast and, unfortunately, it sank,” the deputy governor said, according to the AP.
The boat was headed from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos, just a few miles away, on a day with mild weather.
More than 250 migrants have drowned so far this month attempting the passage to Greece, the AP reports.