KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — At least 10 folks have been killed and 29 others lacking after a ship carrying at least 60 migrants sank within the South China Sea earlier than daybreak on Wednesday, Malaysian officers stated.

The boat capsized in unhealthy climate round 4:30 a.m. off the coast of Tanjung Balau, a seashore city within the southeastern Malaysian state of Johor, a spokesman for the nation’s Maritime Enforcement Agency stated.

Twenty-one folks have been rescued after the company deployed a helicopter and two boats for a search-and-rescue operation simply earlier than 9 a.m., the spokesman, Nurul Hizam Zakaria, stated.

Bernama, Malaysia’s nationwide information company, posted a photo on Twitter that it stated confirmed folks on a seashore recovering the capsized boat from the surf.

The Malaysian authorities didn’t disclose the identities or nationalities of the victims. Mr. Nurul Hizam referred to them as “illegal migrants,” a time period that Malaysian officers generally use to explain refugees searching for asylum.

Boat accidents have been widespread within the area, a lot of them involving Rohingya refugees.

Thousands of them have tried the perilous crossing by boat to Malaysia from Myanmar, the place they face ethnic persecution, or from Bangladesh, the place they typically reside in poverty. Over the years, Malaysian officers have generally prevented such refugee boats from docking. Last 12 months, certainly one of them was rescued by the Bangladeshi Coast Guard, and officers discovered lots of of malnourished and dehydrated individuals who had been stored within the boat’s maintain by human traffickers.

Hadi Azmi reported from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Mike Ives from Seoul, South Korea.

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