Second boat wreck in just two months
A boat with 110 migrants onboard has sunk off the coast of Libya, with just four people rescued so far, AP reported, citing aid workers. This marks the worst such shipwreck incident so far this year, following a record death toll of some 5,000 people in 2016.
Eight bodies have already been recovered, but weather conditions at the scene, 50 kilometers from the Libyan coast, interfered with the search efforts, Italy’s ANSA agency reported.
Only four people have been rescued so far, Flavio di Giacomo, Rome spokesman for the International Organization of Migration (IOM), has said, as cited by AP.
He added that the weather conditions are “extremely bad,” speaking to The Independent.
Conflicting reports regarding the number of people onboard emerged, with AFP putting it at 107, citing the Italian coastguard.
Some 13 people died in the first 10 days of 2017 attempting to cross the Mediterranean, with 1,159 migrants getting to the coast, the IOM said.
Over the previous 24 hours alone, coastguard and naval ships had saved about 750 migrants from rubber and wooden boats in the central Mediterranean, Deutsche Welle reported.
Last year was marked as the deadliest on record, with over 5,000 refugees drowned, suffocated or crushed while trying to cross the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, according to the UN figures, as quoted by AFP.
In 2016, the number of Mediterranean migrants, mainly from West Africa, also reached a record high, topping 181,000 people, the EU rescue operation Frontex said.