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At least 8 dead after migrant boat sinks in Mediterranean

April 11, 2024 at 8:17 am

A patrol boat of the Italian Coastguard arrives at molo Favaloro with migrants, in Lampedusa, Italy on September 16, 2023 [Valeria Ferraro/Anadolu Agency]

Eight people including a child died when a migrant boat attempting to cross the Mediterranean sank.

The Italian Coast Guard intervened, and their patrol boats managed to take many of the people on board, according to Italy’s ANSA news agency

The coast guard, which rescued 23 people, said the boat capsised around 55 kilometres (34 miles) southeast of Lampedusa island in international waters.

In the initial statements of those rescued, it was mentioned that there were other people lost at sea when the boat sank, but their number is unknown.

Among the eight deceased, some died from hypothermia.

Filippo Mannino, the mayor of Lampedusa, said another tragedy at sea has shaken their island, referring to the boating accident.

“Just now, eight bodies, including that of a little girl, were brought. This has become an endless count. The sea conditions are terrible and human traffickers continue to send these poor, desperate people on small boats that can’t even stay afloat. It’s always the same story. Many pay to die at sea,” Mannino said.

According to data from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 385 migrants have been lost at sea in the central Mediterranean from the beginning of the year until 8 April.

According to Italy’s Interior Ministry, the number of irregular migrants who arrived in the country by sea from 1 January to 10 April this year totalled 15,774 compared with 31,128 during the same period last year.

The flow of migration and subsequent boating accidents continues in the central Mediterranean, one of the commonly used irregular migration routes from Africa to Europe.

READ: 27,000 irregular migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean over the past 10 years