October 6, 2013

Bodies of 83 migrants pulled from sunken boat off of Italy

That brings the death toll to 194, and sparks calls for an EU immigration policy as people flee Africa and the Mideast.

The Associated Press

LAMPEDUSA, Italy — Pairs of divers plumbed calmer seas off the Italian island of Lampedusa on Sunday to recover the corpses of would-be asylum seekers who died when a fishing boat packed with 500 African migrants capsized within sight of land. By nightfall, 83 bodies had been retrieved, including one child, raising the official death toll to 194.

About 150 more are believed to still be missing, many likely trapped in the wreckage 154 feet below the surface. To date, 55 of the 194 dead were women, and five were small children.

The enormous scale of the tragedy, which could become the largest death toll in a migrant shipwreck in the Mediterranean on record, has created momentum for a comprehensive European Union immigration policy to cope with the tens of thousands fleeing misery and strife in Africa and the Middle East.

“The Mediterranean cannot remain a huge cemetery under the open skies,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on French TV.

Nearly all of the 155 survivors of Thursday’s tragedy remain at the island’s refugee center. None consented to speak with reporters who visited the center Sunday.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)