Hundreds feared drowned after migrant boat cap-sizes off Liyba

Rome :Hundreds of migrants attempting the perilous journey across the Mediter-ranean are feared to have drowned after their overcrowded fishing boat capsized off Libya, Italy’s coastguard said on Wednesday.

The boat had run into difficulty some 15 nautical miles off Libya and sent out a distress call, picked up by the coastguard in Catania in Sicily.

Two vessels — the MSF ship Dignity One and Irish patrol vessel Le Niamh — were immediately dispatched to the scene, but the boat capsized after the migrants all rushed to one side in anticipation of being rescued, the coast guard said.

Nawal Soufi, an Arabic-speaking Italian based in Sicily who is often con-tacted by migrants in distress, told AFP she had had a call earlier on Wednesday about a boat in trouble with some 600 people on board.

“It is probably the same boat,” coastguard spokesperson Filippo Marini said, raising fears that hundreds of people may have disappeared below the waves.

Three other ships have been sent to the area to search for survivors.

More than 2,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean to Eu-rope this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Be Part of Quality Journalism

Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.



Observer News Service

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.