- At least 31 migrants died while trying to cross the English Channel, Reuters said.
- Their boat sank off the coast of France while trying to reach the shores of the United Kingdom.
At least 31 migrants died while trying to cross the English Channel and reach the shores of the United Kingdom, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
There were 34 people aboard the ship — two are “suffering from severe hypothermia” and one is missing, according to French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, Reuters reported.
The identities of the migrants are currently unknown, but the dead include five women and one female child, according to Reuters.
Authorities launched a rescue operation near the French coastal city of Calais. Authorities have also arrested four human traffickers for suspected connection with the shipwreck and are investigating “aggravated manslaughter” among other potential charges, AFP reported.
As The Washington Post reported, this is shipwreck has resulted in the “largest known loss of life in the Channel” since 2014, when it started counting, but more than 300 people have lost their lives trying to cross the Channel since 1999.
The wreck occurred during British and French government attempts to stop migrants from traveling across the channel, NBC News notes.
Some compare the channel to the US-Mexico border, according to The Washington Post.
“Please let this be the moment we provide safe routes to welcome refugees to Britain, instead of endlessly whipping up hate and fear,” British MP Zarah Sultana said on Twitter.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Twitter called the shipwreck is a “tragedy.”
“My thoughts are with the many missing and injured, victims of criminal smugglers who exploit their distress and misery,” he added.