Italy Sinking: Search Resumes For Missing Migrants
The fishing vessel foundered less than 1km (half a mile) from the island of Lampedusa after it caught fire.
At least 111 bodies have now been recovered and some 200 of those on board the 20m (66-ft) boat are still unaccounted for.
Dozens of bodies are thought to remain in the sunken vessel.
There were about 500 on board – most from Eritrea and Somalia, according to the UN. Rescuers saved 155.
The diving operation had to be temporarily suspended due to choppy seas, Italian media reports say.
Officials are quoted as saying some 100 bodies could remain in the wreck, which lies some 40m (132ft) below the surface.
The skipper of the boat, a 35-year-old Tunisian, was arrested, announced Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano when he visited the island.
‘He had been deported from Italy in April,’ Mr Alfano said.
‘This is not an Italian tragedy, this is a European tragedy,’ he continued. ‘Lampedusa has to be considered the frontier of Europe, not the frontier of Italy.’
A minute of silence is being observed in all Italian schools on Friday in memory of the victims and flags are being flown at half-mast.
At this time of year, when the Mediterranean tends to be calmer, boats carrying migrants from Africa and the Middle East land on Italy’s southern shores almost every day, the BBC’s Alan Johnston reports from Rome.
But the vessels are usually overcrowded and often unseaworthy.
Leave a comment. 0 comment so far.