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Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Migrant Boat Wreckage In Italy Kills At Least 59 People, Including Children

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At least 59 people died, among whom were twelve children, after a wooden sailing boat carrying migrants to Europe collided with rocks close to the southern Italian coast early on Sunday, according to officials.

The ship, which left Turkey and was carrying passengers from Afghanistan, Iran, and other nations, capsized in stormy waters before daybreak close to Steccato di Cutro, a seaside resort on Calabria’s eastern coast. Near the Calabrian coastal town of Crotone, the boat broke apart as it attempted to dock. At least 150 people were onboard, according to survivors.

The ship left the port of Izmir in western Turkey about four days ago, and an EU border agency Frontex plane detected it late on Saturday about 74 km (46 miles) off the Italian coast, according to Italian police.

According to the Italian President Sergio Mattarella, many of them were escaping tough circumstances.

Matteo Piantedosi, Italy’s interior minister, inspected the scene and stated that up to 30 people might still be missing.

A neighboring seaside resort’s beach was where bodies were found.

A provincial government official named Manuela Curra said that among the survivors of the shipwreck, twenty were admitted to hospitals, while one of them was in critical care.

The coast guard reported that 80 people, “including some who managed to reach the shore after the sinking,” had been discovered alive.

According to police, patrol boats were dispatched to intercept it, but bad weather forced them to turn around and head back to port. Following this, officials mobilized search units along the coastline.

In video footage, pieces of the hull and broken-up timber from the wreckage can be seen washing up on the shore.

Red Cross employees are seen tending to survivors as they are seen huddled beneath blankets. A long length of the coastline was covered in the wreckage from the wooden Turkish sailing boat, a gulet.

One survivor was detained on suspicion of trafficking migrants, according to the Guardia di Finanza customs police.

Giorgia Meloni, Italian Prime Minister, voiced “deep sorrow” and attributed the deaths to traffickers. Meloni was elected last year in part on a promise to stop the influx of migrants into Italy.

“There had been landings but never a tragedy like this,” the mayor of Cruto, Antonio Ceraso, told Rai News.

“When we got to the point of the shipwreck we saw corpses floating everywhere and we rescued two men who were holding up a child. Sadly, the little one was dead,” Emergency doctor Laura De Paoli told Italian news agency ANSA.

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