Cairo – Egyptian prosecutors summoned officials in charge of a beach in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria on Saturday, a day after at least 11 people drowned there.
The incident took place off Alexandria’s Palm Beach, dubbed the “Shore of Death” due to its rocks and choppy waves that have been blamed for a series of drownings in recent years.
The beach officials are to be questioned to determine who is responsible for the incident, the online edition of state-owned newspaper al-Ahram reported without further details.
Seven of the bodies have been recovered from waters as rescue teams continue searching for the others, privately onwned newspaper al-Watan reported.
Those retrieved included the bodies of a 14-year-old boy and a woman, it added.
Beaches across Egypt have been shut down since March as part of government measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
Alexandria authorities said the incident happened after a group of people went to the beach early in the morning in violation of the ban to avoid being caught by security guards.
A boy then drowned, prompting others to jump into the waters in an an attempt to rescue him, but some of them also died, the governmental Central Administration for Tourism and Resorts.
“The administration appeals to citizens to comply with the government’s instructions of avoid going to beaches for their safety,” it added in a statement.
Alexandria is a popular summer destination that usually attracts thousands from around Egypt seeking to beat the summer heat.
While having recently loosened many virus-induced restrictions to boost economy, the Egyptian government has kept beaches closed to curb the virus spread in this country of nearly 100 million people.