Baby dead, eight feared drowned in asylum seeker boat sinking

A baby boy is dead and eight other people are feared to have drowned in an asylum-boat capsize north of Christmas Island overnight from which 88 passengers were rescued.

Distraught survivors have come ashore at Christmas Island this morning after being rescued by Australian authorities.

Two Australian navy ships, a merchant vessel, an air force P3 Orion and other aircraft are continuing to search for the missing people, The Australian reported.

In a statement a short time ago Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said initial advice was that the boat, from Indonesia, was carrying 97 passengers thought to have come from Iran, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

The rescued asylum-seekers, men, women and children, were delivered to the Australian territory of Christmas Island just over an hour ago aboard the Australian Customs vessel Triton.

Many were crying as they were loaded into buses.

- www.nzherald.co.nz

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