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12° Nicosia,
20 July, 2024
 
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Two shipwrecks off Italy leave 11 dead and 64 missing

Over 3,150 migrants died in Mediterranean last year

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 3,150 migrants died or went missing in the Mediterranean last year, making it the deadliest migration route in the world.

Recent shipwrecks off Italy's southern coast have added to the grim toll, with at least 11 migrants confirmed dead and 64 missing, as reported by United Nations agencies.

In the first incident, a boat carrying migrants from Turkey caught fire and overturned about 200 kilometers off the coast of Calabria. Survivors reported that the vessel had been at sea for eight days before the disaster occurred.

Following a mayday call from a nearby French vessel, the Italian coastguard launched a search-and-rescue operation. At least 12 survivors were rescued and brought to the port of Roccella Jonica for medical treatment. Tragically, one of them died shortly after arriving. Most of the missing migrants are believed to be from Iran, Syria, and Iraq.

In a separate incident near the island of Lampedusa, rescue workers found a wooden boat taking on water. The crew of the German aid ship Nadir managed to evacuate 51 people, including two unconscious individuals who had to be freed with an axe.

The bodies of 10 migrants were discovered trapped below deck. The survivors, mainly from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, and Syria, had each paid around $3,500 (approximately €3,250) for the perilous journey.

The Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Center quickly diverted nearby merchant vessels to assist in both rescue operations. Frontex, the European border and coast guard agency, also provided support.

These tragedies underscore the dire conditions and immense risks faced by migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean in search of safety and better opportunities.

[Information sourced from Euronews]

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Cyprus  |  migration  |  shipwreck

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