4 die as migrant boat reaches Spain’s Canary Islands

International

MADRID (AP) — Three men died in a boat carrying more than 40 migrants and another died upon reaching shore on Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands on Tuesday, authorities said.

They were the first deaths of migrants arriving on the islands in 2021, a spokeswoman for the emergency services said. There were three bodies and 44 survivors in the boat when it arrived before dawn at a beach on the southern side of Tenerife, she said.

The fourth person died from heart failure while being treated by emergency service workers on shore. Three others were taken to hospital for minor injuries.

The migrants, which included one woman and 17 minors, were from sub-Saharan African countries, the spokeswoman said on condition anonymity in keeping with service regulations.

Spain’s Interior Ministry says 23,000 migrants arrived in the Canary Islands in 2020, up from some 3,000 in 2019. More than 500 died in the attempt.

The people taking the boats are understood to be fleeing poverty, violence or other circumstances, including the COVID-19 pandemic, in their countries.

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