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Pakistanis among 11 drowned in boat accident off Italy coast

Mediterranean Sea one of world's most dangerous migration routes and has claimed lives of more than 23,500 migrants since 2014

By Reuters & Web Desk
June 18, 2024
This handout photo from the Italian Coast Guard shows a sailboat off the coast of Calabria, Italy on June 17. — AFP
This handout photo from the Italian Coast Guard shows a sailboat off the coast of Calabria, Italy on June 17. — AFP

Two separate boat capsizing incidents near the coast of Italy have claimed 11 lives, including migrants from Pakistan and other countries.

As per reports, 51 people were rescued from the boat carrying migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Syria, and Egypt, while another 10 were found dead due to getting trapped in the lower deck of the vessel.

As per the German sea rescue charity RESQSHIP, the "overcrowded" boat sank 90 kilometres south of the island of Lempedusa in the Mediterranean Sea on Monday.

The captain of the rescue boat "Nadir," Ingo Werth, said that "the (migrants') boat was almost capsizing, and so it was a potential grave for rescuers."

The passengers onboard reported to aid workers that they had set sail from the Libyan port of Zuwarah two days ago.

Three people found dead near migrant shipwreck

Another migrant shipwreck was reported between Italy and Greece on Tuesday, in which 64 people were said to be missing while three dead bodies were recovered off Italy's coast.

Up until now, 11 people have been rescued from the second boat.

As per the Italian coast guard, two patrol boats, one ship, and a plane had been deployed to search for the missing passengers, which include 26 unaccounted children.

No further information has been released about the three recovered bodies.

According to a joint statement from the UN refugee agency UNHCR, the International Organisation for Migration, and the UN children’s agency UNICEF, the migrants had set sail from Turkey, spent eight days at sea, and came from Iran, Syria, and Iraq.

The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) charity said some migrants also came from Afghanistan.

The two shipwrecks have confirmed the central Mediterranean's reputation as one of the world's most dangerous migration routes. According to UN data, more than 23,500 migrants have died or gone missing in its waters since 2014.