At least six people, including a child, have been killed in a boat sinking off the coast of Tripoli in Lebanon. Lebanese Transport Minister Ali Hami confirmed the information. Extreme unrest is prevailing in Tripoli.
A small dinghy carrying about 70 Lebanese and Syrians sank off the coast on Saturday night. Hammy said the body of a young woman was recovered on Saturday night and the army recovered five more bodies on Sunday morning.
At a news conference on Sunday, the military said the boat was crossing the coast illegally. As the smugglers tried to flee, they collided with a naval vessel on duty and sank in a dinghy.
The army’s statement came after some surviving passengers accused the navy of deliberately pushing the boat.
“The Lebanese military has rescued at least 47 people, but we do not know how many more are missing. “The total number of people on board is not yet known.”
Relatives of the dead gathered outside a hospital in Tripoli on Sunday to protest the death of a drowning man.
Mohammed Damnavi, a Lebanese man who survived the sinking, said he did not know if his wife and son had survived. “I was with them. I was able to get out, ”he said.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati declared Monday a day of national mourning. Hezbollah’s condolence statement, on the other hand, called on the people to remain calm.
Due to the economic crisis, Lebanese as well as Syrian refugees have tried to make dangerous sea voyages in Europe by pushing the waves in small dinghies.
Qasim al-Zouibi, a Lebanese national whose relatives survived the crash, said they tried to flee Lebanon out of desperation. He said, “Why did they choose this path? Because there is no other way but this way. ”
Najat Rochdi, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Lebanon, expressed his condolences on Sunday, saying UN agencies were on the ground to help.
Rochdi posted on Twitter, “It is terrible that deprivation is still pushing people on a dangerous journey across the sea, sacrificing their lives and the lives of their children in search of a dignified life.”