Official: 4 migrants die off coast of Greece

AP News
Posted: Sep 03, 2011 11:34 AM
Official: 4 migrants die off coast of Greece

A Greek official says at least four people died on a half-sunk inflatable craft carrying illegal migrants off the country's western coast. Eleven others were found alive.

A sailboat discovered the craft early Saturday, recovering the living migrants and two dead bodies. Later searches found two more bodies in the area, some 80 nautical miles west of the Greek island of Kefalonia.

A coast guard spokeswoman says the craft was found drifting, "apparently from a mechanical failure." She declined to give her name in line with coast guard policy.

The migrants' national origin, ages and their intended destination were not yet known. Also unclear is exactly what caused the four deaths.

Greece is a major gateway for illegal migrants entering the European Union.