Four children died in a group of migrants off the Greek island Lesvos and a woman died near the island of Samos after they tried to cross the sea from neighboring Turkey.
(Bloomberg) — Four children died in a group of migrants off the Greek island Lesvos and a woman died near the island of Samos after they tried to cross the sea from neighboring Turkey.
While Greece’s coastguard rescued 19 other people from the group off Lesvos, officials were unable to save the children despite efforts to provide first aid, government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis told reporters Monday. They included girls aged 14, 8 and 11 months and an 8-year old boy, he said.
The tragedy took place at 6 a.m. on Monday in Turkish territorial waters, Marinakis said.
“It’s imperative that the wretched networks of smugglers who exploit vulnerable people are taken out at their root,” he said.
In a separate incident, the coastguard conducted a search and rescue operation early Monday off the Samos after detecting 37 people during a patrol, Shipping Minister Miltiades Varvitsiotis said in a statement.
A woman and baby among the group were found unconscious and officials immediately performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on both. While the baby survived, the woman didn’t, the minister said.
Migration has become a difficult subject for Greece’s government, particularly after more than 500 people drowned off the southwest coast in international waters after the vessel they were traveling on capsized while trying to reach Italy from Libya.
(Updates with details of Samos rescue from fifth paragraph.)
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