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Egyptian officials: Death toll from shipwrecks rises to 9

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Rescuers took at least nine bodies, including children ages 1, 1 1/2 and 4, and were searching for others, ambulance officials said.

At least five people were rescued and taken to hospitals, officials said speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to inform the journalist.

Any survivor still on the lake, located west of the settlement is located west of the city of Alexandria, can go into shock as temperatures dropped on Tuesday in already cold waters.

Relatives spent the night on the coastline, hoping their loved ones could be rescued or their bodies retrieved. Calls for volunteer divers to help with the search were circulated on social media.

Citing relatives, local media reported that the victims, all from the same family, were returning from a trip to an island in the lake. The victims arrived on the island in two groups and all were packed on boats on their return, the private daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

Alexandria Governor Mohammed el-Sharif said in comments late Monday the ship was small and overcrowded, suggesting a possible cause of the capsizing.

Most boats on the lake operate without licenses, he said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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