Channel deaths: More boats arrive after 27 people drown

The English Channel: More people have made the perilous journey across, a day after 27 people drowned in the deadliest crossing on record.

A group wearing life jackets were seen huddled together onboard a lifeboat near Dover on Thursday morning. Those who drowned on Wednesday included 17 men, seven women – one of whom was pregnant – and three children, France’s interior minister Gerald Darmanin said.

Five people have been arrested in connection with the fatal crossing. Two survivors are currently in a critical condition in a French hospital, where they are being treated for severe hypothermia. One of them is Iraqi and the other Somalian, Mr Darmanin told RTL radio. It was earlier reported 31 people had died, but the total was revised down overnight into Thursday.

The alarm was raised on Wednesday after a fishing boat crew spotted several people in the sea off the coast of France.

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