According to the UN Migration Organization (IOM), at least 140 migrants drowned off the coast of Senegal. A boat with around 200 people on board set out on Saturday from the Senegalese coastal town of Mbour towards the Canary Islands, IOM announced on Thursday. A few hours later, the boat caught fire and capsized. According to media reports, 59 people were saved. This is the deadliest shipping disaster that has been recorded this year, said IOM. The organization is deeply saddened by this tragedy.
Time and again, refugees and other migrants from Africa try to reach the Canary Islands, a group of islands off the coast of West Africa that belongs to Spain. The archipelago is about 100 kilometers off the coast. However, the Atlantic is very dangerous for the small boats that are mostly only powered by outboard motors. The number of people who have traveled from West Africa to the Canary Islands in the past few weeks has risen sharply in recent weeks, according to the IOM. At least 414 people have died on this route this year.