Rescue operations find 24 bodies at sea after a boat believed to be carrying illegal migrants sank off the coasts of Istanbul. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Fishermen and coastguard officials pulled 24 bodies from the sea at the mouth of Istanbul's Bosphorus strait on Monday (November 3) and rescued seven people after a boat said to be carrying a group of migrants sank. Seven coastguard vessels and a helicopter were continuing search operations in the Black Sea, some 3 miles (5 km) north of the Bosphorus, the coastguard said in a statement. Media reports said some 40 illegal migrants, including children, were believed to have been on the boat. Shipping agents GAC said in a statement the boat had been heading for the Romanian port of Constanta when it sank around 5 am (0300 GMT) and was believed to be carrying around 50 refugees. Many illegal migrants from Africa and the Middle East pass through Turkey to get into the European Union, often travelling in unsafe boats. The Bosphorus strait is one of the world's busiest waterways, a vital route for Russian oil and other commodities as the only outlet to the world's oceans from the Black Sea. The strait bisects Istanbul, a city of around 15 million people. Poor weather frequently forces its closure in winter.