A group of around 40 migrants set out for Greek island of Lesbos from the Altınoluk neighborhood of Edremit in Aegean Balıkesir province of Turkey in the early hours of the morning as weather conditions calmed from earlier heavy winds. However, the boat capsized after sailing around two miles off shore, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to Hurriyet Daily News.
The Turkish Coast Guard reached the dead bodies of 27 migrants, including 11 children. Four of the migrants were rescued alive and one was hospitalized.
Edremit District Governor Ali Sırmalı confirmed the death toll, adding that rescue operations were continuing.
“Eleven of the dead are children. There are four injured migrants. Rescue operations are ongoing,” Sırmalı said.
The tragedy happened on the day of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Ankara to discuss the migrant crisis.
Since the beginning of the year, 391 migrants have been killed or reported missing while trying to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece.