At Least 24 Dead After Migrant Boat Sinks Off Greek Coast - NBC Bay Area
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At Least 24 Dead After Migrant Boat Sinks Off Greek Coast

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    A coast guard vessel arrives with the dead bodies of migrants at the port of Vathi on the eastern Greek island of Samos on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Authorities in Greece have raised the death toll from a migrant boat sinking to 18, after recovering seven more bodies off the island of Samos in the eastern Aegean Sea. (AP Photo/Michael Svarnias)

    At least 24 migrants — including several children — died after their boat sank off a Greek island overnight, coast guard officials and an aid group said Thursday.

    Rescue efforts were launched off Samos, close to the Turkish coast, after a survivor who struggled ashore told Greek authorities the boat had been carrying 40 to 45 people.

    "We have 10 rescued and 11 missing," a Greek Coast Guard official told Reuters. "The search and rescue effort is continuing."

    Aid group Doctors Without Borders said nine of the 24 bodies pulled from the sea were children. It renewed its call for a safe land passage to be opened on the Greece-Turkey border in order to reduce the death toll in the Aegean Sea.