Sydney — A Sri Lankan refugee boat with 200 people believed to be on board capsized off Australia’s remote Christmas Island yesterday, with police saying scores could have died.
Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said 110 people had been rescued after the mid-afternoon accident in Indonesian waters, according to ABC television.
The ship issued a distress call and capsized 120 nautical miles north of Christmas Island, some 2,600 kilometres from the Australian mainland, AMSA said, and 200 people were thought to be on board.
Western Australia police commissioner Karl O’Callaghan said a “large number” were feared to have perished. “Some of the very early reports suggest that up to 75 people may have drowned, but I do stress that they are unconfirmed at this stage.” — AFP