Four Rohingya refugees perish in new Bay of Bengal shipwreck
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
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. Others who were injured have been taken to local hospitals for immediate treatment.
UNHCR staff and our partners rushed to the scene to provide medical support, food, blankets and clothes to the survivors. 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 Maungdaw town in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state around 2 am. They ran into rough seas and approached shore in the Imamerdail area of Ukhia sub-district in Bangladesh around 8.30 am local time today.
The boat was hit by large waves and eventually capsized, trapping people underneath. Several were injured when they hit the engine. A 15-year-old boy died on the spot. In all 22 injured people were rushed to hospitals and NGO clinics but three reportedly died en route. The remaining 19 were taken to UNHCR's transit centre near Kutupalong camp where they will receive further assistance and support. We will ensure that families are not separated in the course of the medical treatment.
UNHCR has been in touch with the Bangladesh authorities to ensure safe passage in a systematic and timely way and to step up efforts to rescue people in distress at sea.
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