Some people may still be missing after capsizing a boat attempting a dangerous crossing from France.
French officials said four people, including two children, died after the small boat they set out from France to reach the UK, which capsized in the English Channel.
A man drowned when the boat sank Tuesday morning while a woman and two children, ages five and eight, died after being pulled out of the water along with 14 other people, the northern department’s local authority said . There are fears that some people will still be missed.
Some of those rescued, including the two children, had cardiac arrest after being pulled out of the water, while others, including more children, were hypothermic.
“It seems that a person who could be a child is still missing,” official Herve Tourmente told journalists in Loon-Plage, near Dunkirk. The stormy conditions would have made the attempted crossing particularly dangerous.
A passing English ship reported that the boat was in trouble, which sparked a major search and rescue operation involving six ships with air support.
The Dunkirk public prosecutor opened an investigation into the cause of the sinking.
A growing number of people looking for a better future have tried in recent months to reach Britain via the dangerous and busy shipping route. Four deaths were recorded in 2019, seven this year.
In September, French authorities said they had intercepted more than 1,300 people, including a handful who tried to swim the 30 kilometers or so across the canal.