A newborn and at least 58 other migrants perished after their overcrowded boat capsized in choppy waters near southern Italy. Dozens more others survived. With roughly 150 passengers, the ship broke apart as it attempted to land not far from Crotone, a seaside town in Calabria.
Many deaths have been found on the sand at a nearby beach resort. Many people travel from Africa to Italy yearly to escape violence and poverty. Local authorities estimate that 58 or 59 people have died in the most recent catastrophe to hit the central Mediterranean.
The coastguard had earlier reported that 80 individuals, “including some who managed to reach the shore after the sinking,” had been found alive.
According to Manuela Curra, a local government representative, the boat left the Turkish coastal city of Izmir three to four days prior.
According to Italian officials, most of those aboard were from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Iran, and President Sergio Mattarella said that many were escaping “tough conditions.” According to customs police, one survivor was detained on suspicion of trafficking in migrants.
The ship is said to have sunk after colliding with rocks in bad weather, prompting a significant search and rescue effort on land and at sea. In video footage, chunks of the hull and shattered lumber from the debris can be seen washing up on the beach.
Red Cross employees are seen tending to survivors as they huddle behind blankets. Some of them have been hospitalized. “There had been landings but never a tragedy like this,” the mayor of Cruto, Antonio Ceraso, has told Rai News.
Giorgia Meloni, the Italian prime minister elected last year in part on a promise to stop the influx of migrants into Italy, expressed “deep sorrow” over the event and blamed traffickers for the deaths.
She said, “It is inhumane to exchange the lives of men, women, and children for the price of the ‘ticket’ they paid in the false perspective of a safe journey.”
“The government is committed to preventing departures, and with them, the unfolding of these tragedies, and will continue to do so.”
Former Italian economy minister Carlo Calenda argued that saving mariners in trouble should be done “whatever the cost,” but “illegal immigration routes must be closed.”
The right-wing government of Ms. Meloni has sworn to prevent migrants from reaching Italian beaches. It has recently passed a strict new law that tightens the guidelines for rescue operations.
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Monitoring organizations report that since 2014, over 20,000 individuals have perished or gone missing at sea in the central Mediterranean. Ursula van der Leyen, president of the European Commission, expressed her “deep sadness” at the occurrence and added that the “loss of life of innocent migrants is a tragedy.”
To address the issues relating to migration into Europe, she stated that it was essential to “redouble our efforts” to advance with revising EU asylum procedures. Often standing up for immigrant rights, Pope Francis has indicated that he is praying for the deceased, the missing, and those who have survived.
The details mentioned above were obtained from bbc.com.