Seven-year-old migrant girl drowns in France after boat to UK capsizes

A British Border Force patrol boat intercepts a rib with people thought to be migrants off the the coast at Dungeness, England, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.
A British Border Force patrol boat intercepts a rib with people thought to be migrants off the the coast at Dungeness, England, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. Copyright Associated Press
By Euronews with AP
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The boat sunk on the treacherous English Channel crossing route used by migrants hoping to reach Britain, French authorities said Sunday.

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A girl, 7, has died after a boat attempting to reach the UK capsized on the Aa canal in France, which leads to the North Sea.

The girl was one of 16 people travelling on the boat, travelling with her parents and three siblings.

A statement from the prefecture responsible for the north of France said the boat capsized off the coast of the northern port city of Dunkirk on Sunday morning.

The vessel was too small for the number of passengers, authorities said. 

The girl's father and her pregnant mother were rescued and taken to a hospital along with her siblings, the statement also said.

Another couple, two men and six young children were also rescued and taken to a hospital with minor injuries, the statement said.

On Wednesday, three people died during an attempt to cross the English Channel from France.

In a statement, the maritime authorities overseeing French waters in the waterway said about 180 people were assisted Wednesday in four rescue operations coordinated by the French side.

An estimated 30,000 people made the crossing in 2023, according to UK government figures released at the start of 2024.

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