VAN - On the 16th day of the search-and-rescue mission rescue teams have recovered two more bodies increasing the official number killed to 21 after the boat carrying migrants across Lake Van is reported to have sunk on June 27.
After the boat carrying migrants across Lake Van was reported missing on June 27 Turkey announced that a search-and-rescue mission involving helicopters and boats was launched. Without any survivors being rescued from the wreck in more than four days, the mission appears to be turning largely into a recovery operation. “The boat was found at a depth of 106.5 meters [349.4 feet] off Çarpanak Island” in Lake Van, the Van Governorship said on July 8 in a statement.
Up until now, 13 bodies were recovered from the water surface, while 6 were removed from the boat sunk. Discovering two more bodies on Sunday so far rescue teams have recovered 21 bodies.
Authorities estimated the boat was carrying between 70-80 migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. A total of 11 people have been detained in connection with the tragedy, Soylu told reporters, and a local administrator has reportedly been removed from office for delaying reporting the tragic incident.
Last year in late December seven migrants drowned while 64 others were rescued after their boat capsized in Lake Van. Smugglers are believed to be transporting migrants across the lake to escape police checkpoints on nearby roads.