Lille – Fourteen migrants, survivors of the shipwreck which killed four people on Tuesday in the Channel, “were or are being heard”, in police custody, in order to identify potential officials including the pilot, said Wednesday the Dunkirk prosecutor.
Tuesday, two children aged 5 and 8, a woman and a man were killed while trying to reach the English coast aboard a boat “fishing trip“, “rigid and powered“, according to the first elements of the investigation.
Among the 15 survivors rescued, “someone is still in need of care, and could not be heard“Dunkirk prosecutor Sébastien Piève told AFP.
“As usual for this type of offense, the 14 others, all adults or adolescents over 16 years old, were taken in by the border police.“and placed in custody, he said.
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“It is a question of establishing whether they are victims or smugglers (…) and to identify possible implicated, in particular the driver of this boat.“, continued the prosecutor. Some police custody will be gradually lifted to keep only potential suspects and”consider one or more deferrals on Thursday“.
According to testimonies, the deceased victims “could belong to the same family“, which would be”found in the cabin“at the time of the sinking, but that”remains hypothetical“according to the prosecutor.
Some statements mention “22 people on board in total, which would mean three people are still missing, including a toddler“, he added, believing that he”could be the third child of the deceased family“.
“We hypothesize that these people – who claim to be primarily Kurds of Iranian nationality, and for some Iraqi Kurds – left the Grande-Synthe camp, would have been taken by smugglers to a nearby beach (…) then would have sailed for about forty minutes before turning around“due to bad weather,” he detailed.Not all would have had life jackets“.
Bringing the number of migrants who died in the Channel to seven in 2020, Tuesday’s sinking is the most serious migratory drama to have occurred in these waters, where attempts to cross are increasing despite the dangers.
Between January 1 and August 31, 6,200 migrants tried their luck there, according to official figures.