The death toll has risen to seven after a refugee boat sank off Turkey’s Aegean coast on Thursday evening, the Turkish Coast Guard confirmed Friday.
Two women and five children died when the boat carrying 18 people capsized at around 9 p.m. local time [1800GMT] near the Cesme district of the Aegean province of Izmir. The boat was headed to the Greek islands.
Three boats and one helicopter were dispatched by the Coast Guard in a rescue operation.
Nine people, including four Iraqis, three Somalis, two Syrians were rescued and taken to Cesme State Hospital for treatment.
The organizer of the migrants reportedly managed to escape while the boat was sinking. The search continues for one more missing refugee. Police are also hunting for the fugitive organizer.