GENEVA – At least four Rohingya refugees from Myanmar were killed when their boat capsized in rough seas early on Tuesday (Oct 31) in the Bay of Bengal near the coast of Bangladesh, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency said.
Injured survivors were taken to local hospitals for treatment, UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch told a press briefing in the Palais de Nations.
“UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is deeply saddened by reports of a new shipwreck in the Bay of Bengal this morning in which at least four Rohingya refugees died when their boat capsized close to the southern Bangladesh shore,” he said.
UNHCR staff and local partners had provided medical support, food, blankets and clothes to the survivors at the scene, Baloch added.
According to survivors, six families – 42 people in total, many of them women and children – left on a fishing boat from Gozon Dia, south of the town of Maungdaw in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state about 2:00 a.m.
They ran into rough seas and headed for the Bangladesh shore about 8:30 a.m.
“The boat was hit by large waves and eventually capsized, trapping people underneath,” Baloch said.
A 15-year-old boy died on the spot and 22 were injured, several when they hit the engine Three were reported to have died en route to hospital.
The remaining 19 injured were taken to UNHCR’s transit centre near Kutupalong camp. “We will ensure that families are not separated in the course of the medical treatment,” Baloch said.
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