The Lebanese Minister of Transport told Al-Jazeera that the bodies of 45 migrants were recovered and rescued in a boat accident off the shores of the city of Tripoli in the north of the country.
The minister added that rescue operations are continuing in search of missing persons. A security source stated that the boat left illegally, and operations are focused on about 10 nautical miles from the shore, with the participation of army boats.
Earlier in the day, the Red Cross said on Twitter that about 60 people were on board the boat.
The Lebanese Cabinet said in a statement posted on its Facebook page that Prime Minister Najib Mikati is following up on the sinking of a boat carrying passengers, which was launched illegally from the Qalamoun area, south of Tripoli.
The economic crisis in Lebanon has prompted waves of Lebanese and Syrian refugees to risk cruises to Europe on small boats.