Who were the victims of the Channel migrant boat tragedy?

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Questions remain over the identity of the victims of the migrant boat-sinking tragedy in the Channel on Wednesday.

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At least 27 people died on Wednesday in the worst yet recorded migrant tragedy in the Channel and French officials are trying to identify who they were, reports BBC News.

Only two people survived, a Somali and an Iraqi, according to French interior minister Gérald Darmanin. He said they were recovering from extreme hypothermia and would be questioned in due course.

But little is known of those who did not survive when their inflatable boat lost air and took on water off the northern port of Calais.

Among the dead were 17 men, seven women and three children, prosecutors in Lille told the BBC. Calais Mayor Natacha Bouchart said one of the women was pregnant, while one of the children was a "little girl".

Forensic investigations are under way but no one has yet been named.

Many of them had travelled to France from the Middle East, unconfirmed reports suggest. The BBC has spoken to several charities, who said many of the dead appear to have been Kurds from Iraq and Iran. Some may have been Arabs and Afghans, as well as other Iranians.

Masrour Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, said the tragedy was a potent reminder of the dangers of "illegal migration and the smugglers who send people to their deaths".

Handa Majed, founder of the Kurdish Umbrella charity, said she had been in touch with various sources who were trying to identify those who died.

Based on her research, the majority of them appeared to be Iraqi Kurds, she said, and that was not surprising.

"Young people in Kurdistan don't have any jobs," she said. "There's no prosperity. There's no social support system like in the UK, so if you don't have a job, you could starve to death."

Kurdish journalist Ranj Peshdari, who said he had spoken to people on the ground in France, echoed those initial reports about the backgrounds of the dead.

He told the Rudaw media group that he understood most of the dead had made the journey to Europe from the Kurdistan region.

Handa Majed, founder of the Kurdish Umbrella charity, said she had been in touch with various sources who were trying to identify those who died.

Based on her research, the majority of them appeared to be Iraqi Kurds, she said, and that was not surprising.

"Young people in Kurdistan don't have any jobs," she said. "There's no prosperity. There's no social support system like in the UK, so if you don't have a job, you could starve to death."

Kurdish journalist Ranj Peshdari, who said he had spoken to people on the ground in France, echoed those initial reports about the backgrounds of the dead.

He told the Rudaw media group that he understood most of the dead had made the journey to Europe from the Kurdistan region.

French police did collaborate with charities but it was a long and often complicated process.

Ms Konforti said the families of those who died often had no idea about their fate.

"The families are always in horrible shock to hear about a death," she said. "They know that it's dangerous, but they don't know how dangerous it is."

For migrant charities and NGOs, the circumstances of Wednesday's deaths were grimly familiar, predicted as well as predictable.

See more of this report, with video, from BBC News.

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