Body count from migrant boat disaster off Italy rises to 111

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Credit: Reuters

LAMPEDUSA, Italy (Reuters) – Italian rescue workers have pulled 111 bodies from the migrant boat that sank off the island of Lampedusa on Thursday and expect to recover more than a hundred more from the submerged wreck, a coastguard official said on Friday.

Authorities have rescued 155 survivors after the 20-metre (66-foot) boat carrying around 500 migrants, mostly Eritreans and Somalis, sank no more than 1 kilometre (half a mile) from shore.

“Two motorboats remained in the area overnight and this morning divers resumed work but we expect to recover more than a hundred bodies from the ship,” coast guard official Floriana Segreto told Reuters.

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In all, more than 300 people are believed to have died in one of the worst tragedies in Europe’s decades-long migrant crisis.

The disaster was triggered when fuel aboard caught fire, causing a panicked rush to one side of the boat which capsized and sank, throwing hundreds of people into the water.

Italy is holding a day of mourning on Friday, and schools will observe a minute’s silence in memory of the victims.

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Credit: Dolly Rook (YouTube)


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