Forty-one feared dead in migrant shipwreck in central Mediterranean

ROME, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Italian authorities on Wednesday stated forty-one migrants are thought to have died in a shipwreck final week in the central Mediterranean, in accordance with accounts by survivors who’ve been taken to the island of Lampedusa.

Local public prosecutor Salvatore Vella confirmed media studies that 4 individuals who survived the shipwreck informed rescuers they had been on a ship carrying 45 individuals, together with three youngsters.

Vella’s workplace has opened an investigation into the incident.

The 7-metre-long boat set off on Thursday morning from Tunisia’s Sfax, a scorching spot in the migration disaster, however capsized and sank after a couple of hours when hit by a giant wave, the survivors had been quoted as saying by Italian information company Ansa.

The Sea-Watch charity rescue group stated one in all its surveillance planes noticed them being rescued by a cargo ship. They had been then transferred onto an Italian coast guard vessel and disembarked in Lampedusa, the place they shared their story.

“They said they were among the few aboard (the sunken boat) with a life jacket, and (after the shipwreck) they remained in the water until they found another empty boat”, Sea-Watch stated in an announcement.

The migrants arrived in Lampedusa exhausted and in a state of shock, and are resulting from be questioned by police, prosecutor Vella stated. They are presumed to have spent a number of days adrift at sea with no meals or consuming water.

The Italian coast guard didn’t reply to a request for remark.

A supply with information of the matter stated it was unlikely that the shipwreck skilled by the survivors was one in all two the coast guard had reported on Sunday.

At the time, the coast guard stated that they had rescued 57 individuals and recovered two our bodies, amid media studies that not less than one of many sunken boats had additionally set off from Sfax on Thursday.

Separately, Tunisian authorities stated on Monday that that they had recovered 11 our bodies from a shipwreck close to Sfax on Sunday, with 44 migrants nonetheless lacking from that sinking.

Italy, a significant route into Europe for a whole bunch of 1000’s of asylum seekers and different migrants, has seen a rise in migrant boats to this point this yr, with round 93,750 migrant arrivals by sea in accordance with inside ministry knowledge.

The determine in contrast with about 44,950 arrivals in the identical interval of 2022.

Writing by Federico Maccioni and Federica Urso,
Editing by Keith Weir, Crispian Balmer, Alexandra Hudson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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