Families of migrants who died when their ship collapsed off Lebanon’s northern coast conducted burials in Tripoli on Monday, while rescue attempts continued to look for scores who remained missing.
A dinghy containing Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian migrants drowned off the coast of Tripoli late Saturday after navy troops collided with the vessel as the smuggler attempted to elude capture.
The dinghy was carrying 80 people when it capsized, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR). Authorities said that 47 people have been rescued, with another two dozen still missing.
According to the head of the Tripoli port authority, a seventh body was discovered on Monday morning.
The financial crisis in Lebanon has pushed more than three-quarters of the population into poverty, sparking a wave of migration, including risky sea voyages to Europe in overloaded dinghies.
Large crowds gathered in Tripoli’s Bab al-Tebbaneh neighbourhood for the victims’ funeral processions, including a boy and a young man from the Dandachi family, who buried their loved ones while waiting to learn the fate of another eight people still missing, including children.
In addition to the sunken dinghy, UNHCR reports that three boats carrying a total of 64 migrants left Lebanon this year, two of which were intercepted.