At least seven people were killed after a migrant boat capsized in Turkey’s Lake Van region on Thursday, according to the authorities said.

The boat sank in Lake Van as it approached the town of Adilcevaz in Bitlis province, the provincial governor’s office said in a statement.

It was carrying migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Five people were killed on the spot, while two others died later in hospital.

Some 64 people were rescued and taken to hospital for treatment, the authorities added.

The search operation is still underway.

Turkey is the main crossing point for migrants trying to reach Europe.

Earlier this week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Turkey could not handle a “new refugee wave” from Syria amid the increased bombardment of the rebel-held Idlib province, saying a new influx would be “felt by all European countries”.

Turkey already hosts some 3.7 million Syrian refugees, the largest refugee population in the world.

(With inputs from IANS)