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Seven dead in Canary Islands migrant boat tradgedy

 At least seven people have perished and 12 others have been hospitalized after a migrant boat was rescued on Tuesday morning about 140 km south of Gran Canaria island, Spanish Maritime Rescue services said.

The casualties were due to serious dehydration while the migrants aboard attempting to reach the Spanish coast, the rescue services said.

The boat was spotted at around 20:00 (1900 GMT) on Monday by a merchant ship, which alerted rescue services. Two helicopters and a rescue vessel were dispatched to assist.

Two bodies were discovered on the migrant boat, while there were 34 survivors, comprising 27 men and seven women. They are reported from Sub-Saharan Africa. The survivors recounted that five individuals had perished during the perilous crossing from the northwest coast of Africa, with their bodies cast into the ocean.

Canary Islands Emergency Services and the Red Cross set up an emergency center to treat the survivors on the quayside. Most of them were suffering from severe dehydration, with two 24-year-old men in critical condition.

On March 6, another migrant vessel was spotted off the south coast of the island of El Hierro. Among those aboard, five people perished and 15 were hospitalized.

The migrant route from northwest Africa to the Canary Islands is considered one of the most dangerous in the world. Several thousand people lost their lives every year on the route.

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Famagusta Gazette