IOM: More than 340 migrants died in Mediterranean in past 48 hours

African migrants stranded on a boat comi

The International Organisation for Migration, IOM, on Thursday said over 340 migrants had died crossing the Mediterranean Sea in the past 48 hours.

Flavio Di Giacomo, an IOM spokesman in Rome, said 103 people were presumed to have died in a shipwreck late on Wednesday, from which 27 survivors were rescued and seven bodies were recovered.

“Counting three previous tragedies, the number of dead since Tuesday is over 340,” Mr. Di Giacomo said.

He separately told journalists that there was a first shipwreck with 15 survivors and 35 missing; a second one with 23 rescued and 99 missing; and a third with 114 survivors, 1 body recovered and five missing.

Mr. Di Giacomo said smugglers in Libya were forcing migrants on to boats in spite of very rough sea conditions, increasing the chances of accidents.

“Survivors told us that they were forced to board even if they did not want to due to the bad weather,” he said.

This year has seen a record number of migrant fatalities on the Mediterranean.

Mr. Di Giacomo said about 4,500 died or went missing while trying to reach Europe, including 4,000 in crossings to Italy from Egypt or Libya.

(dpa/NAN)


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  • rambol

    Good for them. I hope they all enjoy their watery grave. They hear all the news about migrants drowning in the Mediterranean, but more keep trying. The most annoying aspect of all this is that the migrants are not really that poor, since they can come up with the $4000 plus dollars charged by the boat operators. Couldn’t they start a viable business back home with that amount? They are heading to Europe only out of greed, and not out of desperation, ignoring the saying that “All that glitters is not gold.” What is it that is in Europe that is worth staking one’s life for?