Boat sinking near Egypt's Giza leaves four workers dead

Boat sinking near Egypt's Giza leaves four workers dead
The small boat was carrying thirteen workers when it went down near the village of Nekla, near Giza.
2 min read
26 February, 2024
Small boats, that are often overloaded with people, carry workers back and forth from work [Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Four Egyptian construction workers died on Sunday when their boat sank in a canal near Giza, state media reported, adding that five others were rescued and four passengers were still missing.

The small boat was carrying 13 workers when it went down near the northern Giza village of Nekla, around 30 kilometres (18 miles) northwest of the capital Cairo, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram said.

"Rescuers managed to recover the bodies of four victims and save five others," while efforts to find the remaining four passengers were ongoing, the paper said.

The health ministry said four of the rescued had been transported to hospital, and three were later discharged.

They were suffering from "drowning-induced asphyxia", the ministry said, adding that one of them had remained "under observation" at the hospital.

AFP correspondents at the scene saw local fishermen pulling a body out of the water as anxious relatives watched the ad hoc rescue operation.

One of the volunteers, Yasser, told AFP they arrived on the scene more than an hour after the accident and had "pulled out four people".

He and the other fishermen requested anonymity to protect their privacy.

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Speaking from a small wooden motorboat, Yasser said the volunteers are "self-funded with donations" from a nearby village to help respond to emergencies along the canal.

Drowning accidents are common in agricultural areas along Egypt's many canals, where small, overloaded boats ferry farmers and workers back and forth.

There are also frequent reports of children and students falling in and failing to swim to shore, which has led local communities to organise for search-and-rescue operations.