ALGIERS, (AFP) – Twenty migrants were missing Friday a day after the boat they were travelling in caught fire off the Algerian coast, official media said.
The APS national news agency, quoting an unnamed security source, said the migrants were among 29 people aboard the ill-fated boat.
A Liberian-flagged vessel assisted the boat and rescued nine people, including two newborn babies, the agency said, adding that some had suffered burns.
The survivors are in “stable condition”, APS said quoting Mohammed Sayeb, the director of the Tenes hospital west of Algiers where they were taken for treatment.
Online news website Al-Shuruq quoted a survivor as saying the fire broke out shortly after the migrants set off at midnight Wednesday from the coastal city of Oran in northwest Algeria.
According to the report the passengers — all of them Algerians — jumped into the sea to escape the blaze.
It was not clear what started the fire.