PARIS (AP) — At least 27 migrants bound for Britain died when their boat sank in the English Channel in an unusually deadly sinking on the dangerous crossing, according to a French police official.

A joint French-British operation to search for survivors was still under way Wednesday evening.

About 50 people were believed to be in the boat when it sank, according to the official, who was not authorized to be publicly named. The nationalities of the travelers was not released.

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