Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

#WeAreHere: "Ghost" Soldiers of the Somme

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Liberia UNMIL mission: UN to hand security control to government

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Chaos and confusion after Brexit, Istanbul Airport attack (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Bitter Divorce: Chaos and confusion after Brexit (part 1)

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Extinction crisis: Saving the planet's species from an irreversible fate

Read more

#THE 51%

Unlocking the code: Women refugees offered classes in coding

Read more

#TECH 24

Viva Technology!

Read more

ENCORE!

Marcia Gay Harden, a down-to-earth Hollywood star

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

France’s Camargue region and its herdsmen

Read more

Europe

Dozens dead as migrant boat capsizes off Sicily

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-10-11

Dozens of people died on Friday after a boat carrying about 200 people capsized between Tunisia and Sicily, Italian news media reported. The incident occurred one week after a similar shipwreck left more than 300 migrants dead.

Dozens of people died on Friday when a boat carrying around 250 migrants capsized between Sicily and Tunisia, in the second such shipwreck this month, the Italian coastguard said.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported that around 50 corpses had been sighted, including around 10 children, following the incident about 60 miles (100 km) south of the tiny island of Lampedusa.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told a news conference in Valletta there were indications at least 27 people had died "and the number is expected to rise, possibly drastically".

At least 339 people drowned on Oct. 3 when a boat carrying Eritrean and Somali migrants sank near Lampedusa, southwest of Sicily.

The Maltese navy said one of its ships had rescued 150 migrants from Friday’s wreck and an Italian navy vessel had saved 56. The most seriously injured were being taken by helicopter to Lampedusa.

Maltese authorities were coordinating the rescue operation, which was in international waters but in a Maltese rescue zone, and a Maltese ship was on the scene, a spokesman for the island state’s navy said.

The boat was spotted in difficulty by a Maltese military plane at around 1400 GMT, which dropped a liferaft.

'Time for action'


"This is not just another wake-up call for Europe. This is the time for action," Muscat said, adding he had spoken to Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta to discuss the latest disaster.

"This is a European problem, not a problem for Italy or Malta only."

Italy is asking for more European Union support and an overhaul of the bloc’s immigration rules after last week’s shipwreck.

Last week’s disaster was one of the worst in a protracted migrant crisis in which tens of thousands of people have arrived in flimsy, overcrowded boats in southern Italy, and some vessels wrecked. Lampedusa, midway between Sicily and Tunisia, has borne the brunt.

According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, 32,000 have arrived in southern Italy and Malta this year alone, around two thirds of whom have filed requests for asylum.

Earlier on Friday at least 500 more migrants in at least three separate boats arrived or were rescued on the way to different areas of Sicily.

Most migrants come from sub-Saharan Africa, but this year many are fleeing the civil war in Syria or political turmoil in Egypt and other parts of North Africa. Many are drawn by hopes of finding work in Europe and often do not stay in Italy.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-10-11

  • FRANCE - ERITREA

    From Paris, Eritrean radio station covers boat tragedy

    Read more

  • ITALY

    Lampedusa disaster fuels political row in Italy

    Read more

  • ITALY - LAMPEDUSA

    Bad weather halts search for Lampedusa victims

    Read more

COMMENT(S)