Indian authorities are trying to recover the bodies of suspected illegal immigrants washed ashore in the remote Andaman Islands, and are still searching for 300 others missing after they were reported to have jumped from their disabled boat.
At least 10 bodies have washed ashore on the Andaman Islands, a remote archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. Authorities found the corpses on Tuesday in a mangrove swamp not accessible by land, but the Associated Press says the coast guard has been unable to reach them because of high winds and heavy waves. The Indian coast guard says the migrants disappeared late Friday after jumping from a boat that was drifting for two weeks and running low on food and water. The coast guard rescued 105 people on Saturday from the drifting boat, and two more survivors were found on Monday, but none has been found since. About 300 people are still missing.
Authorities believe that most of the migrants were from Burma and Bangladesh and were heading toward Malaysia to seek work. A preliminary investigation indicates more than 400 migrants left Bangladesh for Malaysia 45 days ago in several boats, but at some point were put in one boat and released with little food or water. One of the survivors told police he and others had paid a Bangladeshi agent for passage to Malaysia, and for a job.