In Egypt Authorities detain owner of capsized migrant ship

At least 168 bodies have been recovered and 163 passengers were rescued, according to the health ministry

  • Published:
Survivors from a boat that capsized, off Egypt's north coast are seen in a police station in Rashid in northern Egypt on September 22, 2016 play

Survivors from a boat that capsized, off Egypt's north coast are seen in a police station in Rashid in northern Egypt on September 22, 2016

(AFP/File)
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Egyptian police on Monday detained the owner of a vessel that capsized in the Mediterranean last week drowning at least 168 migrants, a security official said.

Up to 450 migrants may have been on board the fishing boat when it sank off Egypt's coast on Wednesday en route to Italy.

At least 168 bodies have been recovered and 163 passengers were rescued, according to the health ministry and the military.

The boat's owner will be questioned by prosecutors and is expected to face charges of human trafficking and involuntary manslaughter, a police official and a judicial source said.

Officials said a specialised ship with divers belonging to a petroleum company is working at the site of the shipwreck some 12 kilometres (eight miles) off the coast to pull the boat back up to the surface.

Survivors have said many migrants were trapped in the boat's hold when it keeled over.

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