“Julia Gillard” Australian Prime Minister says as many as 48 asylum seekers may have been killed when their boat sank last week off
Up till now 30 bodies have been recovered after the boat hit rocks and broke apart in stormy seas on Wednesday.
Officials have been talking to the 42 survivors to try to determine how many more people may still be missing.
Ms Gillard said around 90 people were now considered to have been on the boat, but some bodies might not be recovered.
She said that we are not in a position to tell exact casualties but I think that the best estimate at present is that there were about 90 people on the boat.
"That does mean of course that we are still not able to account for around 18 people."
The passengers of the fragile wooden boat are believed to have been Iranian, Iraqi and Kurdish asylum seekers making their way to
Australia via . Indonesia
Christmas Island lies in the Indian Ocean about 2,600km (1,600 miles) from the Australian mainland, but only 300km south of