More than 20 dead in migrant shipwreck off Senegal

DAKAR  -  Rescuers pulled more than 20 bodies from the sea off northern Senegal on Thursday after a Europe-bound boat loaded with migrants sank, a regional governor told AFP, with fears rising for the miss­ing. “A little more than 20 bodies” had been found, Saint-Louis regional governor Alioune Badara Samb said by telephone, adding that another 20 people had been saved.

“Since the afternoon, we have been witnessing lifeless bodies wash up,” he said, with local rescuers and the navy searching for survivors after nightfall. Badara Samb did not say how many passengers were aboard the vessel but survivors told AFP that the number could have been in the hundreds. Ma­mady Dianfo, a survivor from Casamance in the far south of the country, said there were about 300 passengers when the boat left Senegal a week ago.

Another survivor, Alpha Balde, spoke of 200 passengers. Dianfo said the vessel reached Mo­rocco, where the captain said he was lost and could no longer continue the journey. “We asked him to take us back to Senegal,” he added, saying the accident happened in the notoriously danger­ous waters off Saint-Louis.

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