12 migrants drown off Turkish coast, 2 still missing

AP News
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Posted: Sep 02, 2015 12:56 PM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — At least 12 migrants, including five children, drowned off the Turkish coast Wednesday when two boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized, Turkish officials said. The tides washed up the body of one small boy on the beach, leaving witnesses in tears.

Authorities recovered 12 bodies and were still searching for two migrants missing after the boats sank in separate incidents off the Turkish Aegean coastal resort of Bodrum, the governor's office for Izmir province said. One migrant rescued from the sea later died in the hospital, the governor's office said.

The route between Bodrum and Kos, just a few miles, is one of the shortest from Turkey to the Greek islands but remains dangerous. Hundreds of migrants a day attempt the perilous sea crossing despite the risks.

In the first incident, a small boat overloaded with 17 people sank in international waters after leaving Bodrum, the private Dogan news agency said. Eight of the migrants including two children drowned, seven were rescued by the coast guard and two others were reported missing. 

Hours later, a rubber boat carrying six Syrians from the town of Kobani sank shortly after leaving Bodrum, Dogan said. Four migrants — a woman and three children — drowned in that incident, it said. Employees of an aquatics sports center discovered their bodies washed up on shore and notified authorities.