CAIRO: At least two Egyptians drowned when a boat ferrying illegal migrants to Italy capsized in the eastern Mediterranean off Egypt on Tuesday, a security official said.
Rescue workers saved 25 passengers and recovered two bodies after their boat capsized three kilometers (two miles) off the coast of Borg Megheizal village in Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate, the official said.
Survivors estimated the vessel was carrying 40-45Egyptian migrants.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear.
Efforts were underway to locate the missing passengers, while coast guards intercepted another boat in the same area and arrested 40 more illegal migrants, the official said.
Thousands of young Egyptian men make the dangerous, illegal journeys across the Mediterranean to Europe to flee grinding poverty, high unemployment and rising prices at home. Some leave from Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, but most travel to Libya to take the shorter sea journey from there.