EGYPT ROSETTA BOAT MIGRANTS.jpg
Relatives of missing persons of a capsized boat gather as they wait for rescue workers, at the port city of Rosetta, some 250km north of Cairo, Egypt, 21 September 2016.
Photograph: EPA/MAHMOUD TAHA EGYPT OUT

Egyptian prosecutors on Thursday ordered four people to be remanded in police custody pending an investigation into the sinking of a migrant boat that left at least 42 dead, state television reported.

The four are crew members of the boat that capsized off the Egyptian coastal city of Rosetta on Wednesday.

One hundred and sixty-three people, including 123 Egyptians, were rescued from the accident, the broadcaster reported.

A search is still ongoing for other people who were aboard the boat, the television report added, without giving a specific figure.

There were conflicting reports about the number of people the boat had been carrying. 

Egyptian private newspaper al-Shorouk said that the vessel was carrying at least 300 people, including Egyptians, Syrians, Sudanese nationals, Somalis and Eritreans, while state-run newspaper al-Ahram put the figure at 400.

In recent years, Egypt has seen an increase in migrants trying to illegally travel across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

Regional turmoil and high unemployment rates are believed to be the main factors for the risky journeys. 

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