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At least 27 migrants dead and five missing after boat sinks off French coast – CNN

France’s regional maritime prefecture said a search-and-rescue operation for survivors was ongoing in the Strait of Pas-de-Calais, and described it as the worst-ever accident in the stretch of water.
The country’s sea minister Annick Girardin said French, British and Belgian helicopters were searching for the five people who are still missing.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex described the incident as a “tragedy.” “My thoughts are with the many missing and injured, victims of criminal smugglers who exploit their distress and misery,” he said in a tweet.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked and appalled, and deeply saddened by the loss of life at sea.”
“My thoughts and sympathies are, first of all with the victims and their families, and it’s an appalling thing that they have suffered,” Johnson told reporters.
“But I also want to say that this disaster underscores how dangerous it is to cross the Channel in this way. And it also shows how vital it is that we now step up our efforts to break the business model of the gangsters who are sending people to sea in this way, and that’s why it’s so important that we accelerate if we possibly can all the measures contained in our borders … so that we distinguish between people who come here legally, and people who come here illegally.”
He said “we leave no stone unturned to the business proposition of the human traffickers and the gangsters … who are literally getting away with murder.”
Johnson said it was time for the UK, France and Europe to “step up” and work together. He was due to chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee in response to the tragedy, his spokesperson said.
On Monday, France’s Ministry of Interior announced it was sending equipment and vehicles worth over 11 million euros ($12.3 million) as part of an agreement with the United Kingdom, “to secure the coastal strip extending over more than 130 km, from Dunkirk to the Bay of Somme.”
It added that “the police and gendarmes will have additional resources to carry out the mission of fighting illegal immigration.”
Last week, 243 people were rescued in the English Channel as they tried to cross to the UK.
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