Zagreb: Dozens of refugees were feared dead Sunday after two incidents in Aegean Sea in which a boat collided with a Turkish ferry and another sank in choppy waters, as desperate people fleeing war and poverty braved the risky journey to seek sanctuary in Europe.
Thirteen refugees died after their boat collided with a ferry off the Turkish coast, officials there said, while the Greek coast guard fanned out in the waters of the Aegean Sea searching for another 27 people missing after their boat sank off the island of Lesbos.
Coast guard officials said some 29 people were rescued in the two incidents, which followed another sinking near Lesbos Saturday, in which a 5-year-old girl drowned. Between 10 and 12 people disappeared in that sinking.
The events highlight the risks that those fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia are willing to take in hopes of reaching sanctuary in Europe. Men, women and children continue to take the perilous sea journey despite the fact that thousands of earlier refugees find themselves blocked by closed border crossings in the Balkans.
Hungary’s decision to shut its border with Serbia on Sept. 15 set off a chain reaction in Croatia and Slovenia that has forced people fleeing violence in their homelands to rush from one European border to the next as they desperately try to find their way north before the rules change again.
Thousands are on the move all over southeastern Europe as authorities struggle to respond. Some 11,000 refugees crossed from Hungary into Austria in the 24-hour period ending on midnight Saturday, with at least another 7,000 expected Sunday.
Source: Fox News