A baby in arms and more than 30 other migrants perished when their overloaded boat capsized in choppy waters off southern Italy. Dozens more people survived.
Approximately 100 people were on board when the vessel reportedly broke apart as it attempted to land close to Crotone, a coastal town in Calabria.
At a nearby beach resort, many bodies have been found on the sand.
Each year, a sizable number of people travel from Africa to Italy in an effort to escape violence and poverty.
The Adnkronos news agency reported that those on board were from Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, though it is unknown where the boat had come from.
The ship struck rocks in bad weather and sank as a result, according to the news source.
The Italian government has organized a sizable search and rescue effort both on land and at sea.
Firefighters in Calabria spokesman Danilo Maida stated that the death toll "has exceeded 30.". The national firefighters' department posted on the messaging app Telegram that "a number of deaths are reported among the migrants, (and) there are about 40 survivors.".
In the last few days, a strict new law tightening the rules on rescues was passed by Italy's new right-wing government, which has vowed to stop the flow of migrants reaching its shores.
Monitoring organizations report that since 2014, over 20,000 people have perished or gone missing at sea in the central Mediterranean.