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Australian Federal Police confirms suspected asylum seeker boat involved in accident

12-15-2010 11:38 BJT

CANBERRA, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Australian Federal Police (AFP) have confirmed a suspected asylum seeker boat has been involved in an accident off Christmas Island early on Wednesday.

The AFP said it was responding to an incident with government agencies on the island. "This response is ongoing and the AFP's priority is the safety of all involved in the incident," the AFP said in a statement.

"A more detailed statement regarding this matter will be provided as soon as it is possible."

Witness Phillip Stewart told Sky News the boat struck the cliffs near Rocky Point around 7:00 a.m. Christmas Island time.

"We did witness one person jumping off a piece of flotsam and swimming to a naval rescue but unfortunately what we witnessed was a major tragedy."

Stewart, who's on the island making a documentary, said the asylum seeker boat was completely destroyed in the stormy conditions.

"There's absolutely nothing left of the boat," he said.

A larger naval vessel was further out to sea and two smaller inflatables were involved in the rescue effort, Stewart said.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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