At least 12 Syrian migrants, including eight children, drown off Turkish coast

A Turkish officer carries the body of a child who drowned with several other migrants trying to reach the Greek island of Kos on Wednesday.

At least 12 Syrians, including eight children, drowned early Wednesday off the Turkish coast as they attempted to cross the Aegean to reach Greece, the latest deaths at sea in this year’s migrant crisis in Europe.

 

The tragedy sent shock waves across Turkey and beyond, as images of a young boy face down on the beach spread quickly online. Within hours #KiyiyaVuranInsanlik, meaning Humanity Washed Up Ashore, was the top trending hashtag world-wide on Twitter.

The Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency said 12 bodies were recovered from one overturned boat and the coast guard was searching for at least two missing people. The children who died ranged in age from 9 months to 11 years old, the agency said, citing autopsy reports.

The private Dogan news agency also reported 12 dead and two missing, but said there had been two boats involved with 23 people in all.

A Syrian refugee who managed to swim back to shore told Dogan that his boat capsized shortly after it set off around 2 a.m. “The boat we boarded was apparently for 10 people, they loaded 17 of us in it,”Omer Mohsin said.