Scores of Iranian asylum seekers were amongst the victims of a boat accident that sank on the way to Christmas Island last night.
Guardian reports that three of the boat passengers have already been declared dead in the accident that occurred Tuesday night July 23rd, and Australian officials reportedly alerted Indonesia about the boat offering to help with a rescue effort.
The report indicates that 157 survivors have been rescued by Indonesian officials and fishermen. Reports from survivors indicate that there were over 200 people on board and many may be still missing.
Associated Press reports that the boat capsized by a storm last night near the Island of Java.
The incident comes only days after Australia announced that it will no longer accept asylum seekers arriving in boats and they will instead transfer them to Papua New Guinea. There have been many reports of dire conditons and detainees abuse coming from the detention facilities in Papua New Guinea.
The asylum seekers braving the boat journey to Australia often consist of Iranians, Iraqis, Afghans and Sri Lankans.