After their boat capsized off the southern coast Italy’s mainland, at least 59 migrants, 12 of them children, drowned.
According to the Coast Guard, a ship carrying 150 migrants encountered trouble at sea on Sunday morning near Crotone in Calabria.
Manuela Curra, a provincial official, said to Reuters that the migrant boat shipwrecked three or four days after it left Izmir, eastern Turkey.
It was carrying people from Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as Somalia. Survivors claim that “140 to 150 people were aboard”.
Fivety-eight migrants have been confirmed dead, while 81 survivors arrived on the shores. 22 of these survivors are currently in hospital. The majority of survivors are believed to have been from Afghanistan.
Coast Guard reported that two men were found in hypothermia aboard a patrol boat, along with the child’s lifeless body.
Rescue efforts were carried out by vessels from the coast guard, border force and firefighters.
Vigili del Fuoco in Italy, the institution for fire and rescue services, reported that the boat carrying migrants ran aground near Steccato di Cutro on the coast of the province of Crotone.
Danilo Maida spoke for firefighters in Calabria. He said that firefighters are still searching for survivors at sea. However, the conditions are difficult, making it more difficult.
According to the Coast Guard of Reggio, it coordinates search and rescue operations at sea. Two patrol boats and a helicopter were sent by Catania Aircraft Base to help survivors.
Rosario Maria Gianluca Valastro spoke to Sky News and said that the situation was “very, very serious”.
He stated that the Italian Red Cross had nearly 30 volunteers who supported emergency services and the military by aiding survivors.
“What happened was a disaster.” The people are in an extremely bad place.”
He stated that the Italian army was doing research to determine how many migrants are aboard, but he thinks it could be as high as 200.
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Giorgia Meloni, the Italian Prime Minister, expressed her “deepest sorrow” for the victims of the incident and promised to stop irregular seamigration to prevent further tragedies.
“The Prime Minister Giorgia Maloni expressed her deep sorrow for the many lives lost to human traffickers,” read a statement from her office.
The statement stated that the government was committed to preventing (migrants) departures and with them the unfolding and tragic events. It will do so first by requesting maximum cooperation from (migrants’) countries of departure as well as of origin.
Pope Francis also said that he was praying to all those who were involved in the migrant boat wreck.
“I heard with sadness the shipwreck off Calabrian coast close to Crotone. He said that 40 people have been found dead, most of them children, in his weekly address to the crowds at St Peter’s Square.
“I pray to every one of them, the missing and the other surviving migrants.”