All 27 migrants drowned in English Channel identified

All 27 migrants drowned in English Channel identified
The accident was the most deadly involving a migrant boat in the English channel and most of its victims were Iraqi Kurds.
2 min read
17 December, 2021
The accident on the English Channel also caused major diplomatic tensions between London and Paris [Getty]

All 27 migrants who drowned when their boat sank in the Channel last month while trying to reach Britain have now been identified, the Paris prosecutors office announced on Thursday.

The final identification made was of a 29-year-old Vietnamese man, the Paris authorities said.

Most of the victims of the boat accident were Iraqi Kurds, according to the 26 earlier identifications. Four Afghan men, three Ethiopians, a Somalian, an Egyptian and an Iranian Kurd were also drowned in the disaster.

The majority were men but seven women, a 16-year-old and a seven-year-old were also among the dead.

Authorities often have difficulties identifying dead migrants because they do not carry official documents and their family members frequently have to travel from remote areas overseas to see the bodies.

The accident was the most deadly involving a migrant boat in the Channel and cast a spotlight on the increasing number of desperate people seeking to cross the narrow waterway between France and England.

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It also caused major diplomatic tensions between London and Paris.

Within 48 hours of the accident, French President Emmanuel Macron accused British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being "not serious" in his approach to stopping the crossings.

France was irked by Johnson's initial reaction, which was seen as deflecting blame onto France, and then by his decision to write a letter to Macron which he published in full on his Twitter account before the French leader had received it.

According to the investigation, the migrants left in an inflatable boat from Loon-Plage in northern France at night.

After their boat capsized only two men, an Iraqi Kurd and a Sudanese national, were rescued safely. according to the French interior ministry.

According to the Iraqi survivor there had been a total of 33 people aboard.

French investigators are still trying to establish a clearer picture of what happened during the disaster.

They are investigating reports the passengers had telephoned both French and British emergency services, appealing for help when the vessel began sinking.