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Death toll in boat sinking rises to 48 in Australia

12-21-2010 08:57 BJT

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The death toll from the sinking of a boat off Australia's Christmas Island has risen to 48. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said those still missing may never be found.

30 bodies have been recovered since a boat packed with Iraqi, Iranian and Kurdish asylum-seekers smashed into rocks last week in stormy seas. 42 people were rescued from the sea, but officials believe many more were swept away in the strong currents. Rescue workers have been interviewing survivors to help determine exactly how many people were on board.

She said, "The advice to me is that the best estimate at present is that there were around 90 people on the boat. That does mean of course that we are still not able to account for around 18 people on the boat. But I do say that we may never know the total number with certainty."

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

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