Four arrested after six die as boat capsizes during Channel crossing | World | News


Four people have reportedly been detained in France after six men died and dozens more had to be rescued after a boat capsized while attempting to cross the English Channel.

Judges in France are said to be considering charges including involuntary manslaughter against the Iraqi and Sudanese suspects, reports the Guardian. At least two of those arrested are suspected to have links to human trafficking networks.

The six men died last Saturday after their vessel got into difficulty near to Calais. The French and British coastguards as well as the RNLI attended the incident.

Those confirmed dead were all from Afghanistan. As were a majority of the 65 or 66 people thought to have been onboard the craft.

French media says several of those rescued claim the inflatable capzised as passengers attempted to refuel a motor that had stopped out at sea. Many of the people on the boat were said to have had no life vests.

The criminal investigation into the incident is said to have been transferred from the local prosecutor to the national jurisdiction. Paris officials are now considering charges of manslaughter, unintentional injury, aiding illegal persons and criminal conspiracy.

The number of people to have died on Saturday is the highest since November 2021. On that occasion 27 people drowned in the Channel.

The French coastguards deployed six boats in the Channel as well as a helicopter anticipating more attempts to cross the water as sea conditions improved.

One person who was due to board the vessel on Saturday, but was turned away due to overcrowding was Karim. He says people were paying smugglers £1,700 for a place.

Speaking to the BBC, he explained the smugglers said they would get a “good boat” – at least 10 metures (32ft) long. But the actual boat was only a third of the size.

Two of his friends were allowed on board and Karim believes they were among those who died. Official figures released this week say 17,000 people have arrived in the UK this year after crossing the Channel.

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