At least 15 Rohingya refugees died on Tuesday after a boat capsized in the Bay of Bengal while trying to go to Malaysia illegally, a Bangladesh Coast Guard official has confirmed.
Sixty-seven have been rescued, while 40 others remain missing, The Daily Star newspaper quoted Lt Hayat Ibna Siddique, the Coast Guard media officer, as saying.
The accident took place near St Martin’s Island at around 7 a.m. after the boat hit a stone, said Lieutenant Commander of Coast Guard Naim Ul Haque.
The victims, mostly women, are residents of different Rohingya camps located in Teknaf and Ukhia upazila of Cox’s Bazar.
At least 300 people started for Malaysia on two trawlers from Monakhali on Monday night, said Lt Commander M Hamidul Islam, media officer of Coast Guard.
While one capsized on Tuesday morning, the second boat’s location remains unknown.
“The death toll may rise further,” Islam added.