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Australia revises survivors of capsized boat down

Last Updated: Friday, June 22, 2012 - 13:34

Canberra: Australian Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said on Friday the official number of survivors from the capsized asylum seeker boat has been revised down to 109.

"I`ve just been briefed by the commander of Border Protection Command, the number of survivors has now been revised down from 110 to 109," Clare told reporters on Friday.

Clare said a plane had also just flown over the area and there were more bodies in the water. "This is looking increasingly grim by the hour." But Clare said it wasn`t yet clear if the boat had really sunk.

"Some (of life jackets) are floating on their own, some of them that have people wearing them, and they have identified more bodies in the water," Clare said.

"It`s pretty rough water out there. We are still in that critical window." The minister said it appeared that all of the people were from Afghanistan.

A Border Protection spokeswoman said it was not clear why the number of survivors had been revised down but that details would change as more information became available.

Local reports said that there had been confusion from Indonesia surrounding Australia`s handling of the incident. Clare said "There`s been a number of inquiries about different boats over the last 24 hours”, but there were no other boats in trouble so far.


First Published: Friday, June 22, 2012 - 13:34

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