The bodies of 162 people had been pulled from the waters off theEgyptian coast by Friday, two days after a boat carrying hundreds of refugees and migrants capsized in the Mediterranean while attempting to head to Europe.
Dozens more are feared dead, said Mohammed Sultan, the governor of Beheira, who provided the latest death toll. He also said that the search operation is still ongoing. Many of them are believed to be children and women who were unable to swim away when the boat sank on Wednesday.
Authorities have struggled to give accurate figures for the number of people on board the capsized vessel. The boat was located nearly eight miles (12 miles) from the Nile Delta port city of Rosetta, when it sank. It had waited at sea for many hours — perhaps days — for smaller wooden boats carrying migrants to arrive from different points along the Egyptian coastline.
Survivors said that overcrowding caused the boat to capsize.
Videos taken at from the scene and put on social media, appeared to show that some fishermen were using nets to bring up the bodies.
In one video, a fisherman was heard shouting into his mobile phone that, “the sea is littered with bodies.”
The head of the local council in the area, Ali Abdel-Sattar, said that the currents have carried the bodies of the victims many kilometres away from the site of the sinking. “Today, four bodies, including two Egyptian children, were found 20 kilometres to the east,” he told the AP.