Lebanon Tripoli
People gather as an ambulance is seen after the sinking of a boat off the coast of Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli, outside the port of Tripoli, Lebanon April 24, 2022. Image Credit: Reuters

Beirut: A child died and 45 people were rescued Saturday after a boat carrying around 60 migrants sank off Lebanon, where deadly sea crossings have spiralled due to an economic crisis.

"Forty-five people have been rescued and the corpse of one child," has been retrieved from the boat that sank near the coast of the northern city of Tripoli, Public Works and Transport Minister Ali Hamie told a local broadcaster.

He said around 60 people were on the vessel carrying illegal migrants out of Lebanon.

"The search is ongoing," Hamie said.

The Lebanese Red Cross said it had sent 10 ambulances to Tripoli.

An AFP correspondent said the army had closed off the port, allowing entry only to ambulances which were zipping in and out.

The families of some of the passengers gathered to check on their loves ones but they were denied access.

Lebanon, a country of around six million people, is grappling with an unprecedented financial crisis that the World Bank says is on a scale usually associated with wars.