Sunday, 6 October 2013

Lampedusa boat disaster: Divers resume body recovery

Divers have resumed work to recover the bodies of African migrants missing since their boat sank off Italy's Lampedusa island on Thursday.

Weather conditions that hampered recovery have now improved. So far, 111 bodies have been recovered, more than 250 are missing and 155 survived.

Tens of thousands of migrants attempt the perilous crossing from North Africa to Sicily and other Italian islands each year, and accidents are common - but this week's shipwreck was among the deadliest on record.

The 20m (66ft) boat carrying more than 500 people - mostly from Eritrea and Somalia - was approaching Lampedusa early on Thursday when it began taking on water after its motor stopped working. Some of those on board then reportedly set fire to a piece of material to try to attract the attention of passing ships, only to have the fire spread to the rest of the vessel.

The boat - which set sail from the Libyan port of Misrata - is thought to have capsized when everyone moved to one side.

Of the bodies recovered so far 58 were men, 49 were women and two were children of one and six years old.

Sunday 6 October 2013


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