A boat reportedly carrying 600 migrants capsized off the Egyptian coast near Kafr al-Sheikh, the Egyptian military said Wednesday.
Around 150 people have been rescued and authorities have retrieved 42 bodies so far, the country’s state media reported.
The boat was on its way to Italy, the news agency MENA reported, attributing the information to the military.
Mohamed Abu Arab, a fisherman based in nearby Rashida, told CNN that he and other fisherman are used to finding three, four or five bodies from failed migrant crossing attempts.
“But we haven’t seen this before,” he said of the number of bodies from the latest incident. “This is a disaster.”
Fishermen were the first to spot the capsized boat Wednesday, Arab said, and have been assisting the coast guard in the search for survivors. “Everyone is helping. All security agencies are involved.”
Most of the survivors he has seen were Egyptian, he said, but he believes there were also people from Sudan and Somalia