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Migrant boat capsizes off Australia's Christmas Island

By BBC | July 16th 2013

Australia: A boat carrying about 150 suspected asylum seekers has capsized off Australia's Christmas Island with several casualties reported.

The Australian border agency said four bodies had been found and 144 survivors had been picked up by navy ships, 130km from the shore.

Christmas island is located about 2,560km north-west off the mainland.

Several boats carrying migrants heading for Australia have disappeared in recent months.

After making a distress call, the boat was picked up and escorted by one of two navy ships carrying out the rescue.

However, it tipped over in bad weather on its way to Christmas Island, with a large number of people entering the water.

A Royal Australian Air Force plane deployed a number of life-rafts, and 144 migrants were rescued by the navy.

In a separate incident on Saturday, 88 asylum seekers were rescued after their boat sank off the same island.

Christmas Island is the closest area of Australian territory to Indonesia.


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