Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Lebanese Minister: Six Dead in Tripoli Boat Capsizing

Lebanese Minister: Six Dead in Tripoli Boat Capsizing

Sunday, 24 April, 2022 - 09:30
People gather as an ambulance drives following the sinking of a boat off the coast of Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli, outside the port of Tripoli, Lebanon April 23, 2022. REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim

Six people died when a boat capsized off the Lebanese coast of Tripoli overnight, including at least one child, Lebanese transport minister Ali Hamie told Reuters.

A small dinghy carrying around 60 people sunk off the coat on Saturday night with both Lebanese and Syrians aboard.

Hamie told Reuters that a young girl's body was retrieved on Saturday night and that the army had recovered another five on Sunday morning.

The army had previously said the vessel had left the coast illegally.

The deadly accident, weeks ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for May 15, is not the first of its kind for the crisis-hit country grappling with its worst-ever financial crash.

But it marks a grim reminder of the suffering behind a growing number of people, including Lebanese nationals and Syrian refugees, risking their lives at sea in search of a better future abroad.

One of the survivors claimed an army boat was chasing the migrant ship causing it to sink.

"The patrol boat crashed into us drown us," the man told AFP at the port, before he was silenced and carried off by a crowd of survivors' relatives.

Last November, a boat carrying dozens of would-be migrants also sank off Tripoli's coast after being chased by the Lebanese army.

The passengers were rescued and towed back to shore.

The army said one man has been arrested for his suspected involvement in Saturday's smuggling operation.

Editor Picks