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Death toll in Italy migrant boat wreck rises to 114, over 200 missing

10-04-2013 02:35 BJT

Italian officials say more than 114 people have drowned and over 200 are still unaccounted for after a boat caught fire and sank off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.

One coast guard official said after 94 bodies were recovered from the surface, divers inspecting the wreck discovered another 20 bodies. The 20-metre vessel, believed to be carrying around 500 African migrants, sank no more than one kilometer from shore on Thursday.

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said most of the people on board were either Eritreans or Somalis, which had come from Misrata in Libya. Alfano said the disaster occurred when the boat’s motor stopped working and the vessel began to take on water. People on board burned a sheet to attract the attention of rescuers, starting a fire onboard.

Sicily is the destination for thousands of migrants from Africa who attempt the dangerous sea crossing. This was the second disaster in a week involving migrants attempting to reach Sicily.



Editor:James |Source:

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