Shipwreck of an Italian migrant boat: More than 100 people are feared dead

On February 26, 2023, bodies thought to be refugees were discovered in Cutro, Italy, on the eastern coast of the C...

More than 100 people, possibly including children, are thought to have perished after their boat capsized in choppy waters off southern Italy.

It is known that 62 migrants have passed away.

On Sunday, the ship, which is believed to have been carrying 200 people, broke apart as it attempted to touch down close to Crotone.

On board were passengers from Iran, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

At a nearby seaside resort in the Calabria region, bodies were found on the beach. Including a baby, the victims included 12 children.

Numerous more are still missing, according to the coast guard, who reported that 80 people had been found alive, "including some who managed to reach the shore after the sinking.".

Many of the passengers were reportedly from Pakistan.

Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister of the nation, referred to reports that over a dozen Pakistanis were among the fatalities and described the information as "deeply concerning and worrisome.". He gave the diplomats of Pakistan the order to "ascertain facts as soon as possible.".

MSF, a medical humanitarian organization, is assisting local residents.

According to charity representative Sergio Di Dato, "We have cases of children who became orphans, such as a 12-year-old Afghan boy who lost his entire family, a family of nine people, including four siblings, parents, and other close relatives.".

A shipwrecked boat that washed up on the coast of Calabria
The boat is believed to have sunk after colliding with rocks in bad weather.

Secretary General António Guterres called on nations to do more to assist refugees and migrants, as well as for safer travel routes and strengthened rescue operations, in a Monday morning address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

"Only yesterday [Sunday], scores of people looking for a better future for themselves and their children perished in yet another horrific shipwreck in the Mediterranean. Rights of migrants and refugees are human rights. They must be treated with respect and without bias, he said.

"We need safe, orderly, legal routes for migrants and refugees," he continued, warning that deaths would continue as long as criminal gangs controlled migration routes. And as a moral and legal requirement, we must do everything in our power to prevent the loss of life by offering search and rescue services and medical care. ".

According to customs police, one survivor was detained on suspicion of trafficking in migrants.

Giorgia Meloni, the Italian prime minister, expressed "deep sorrow" and attributed the deaths to traffickers. Meloni was elected last year in part on a promise to stop the flow of migrants into Italy.

In a statement, she said, "It is inhumane to exchange men, women, and children's lives for the cost of the 'ticket' they paid in the false expectation of a safe journey.

"The government will continue to do everything in its power to stop departures and the subsequent unfolding of these tragedies. ".

Rescuers recover a body after a suspected migrant boat is wrecked and bodies believed to be of refugees were found in Cutro, the eastern coast of Italy's Calabria region, Italy, on 26 February 2023

The right-wing government of Ms. Meloni has vowed to prevent migrants from reaching Italian shores and has recently passed a strict new law that tightens the guidelines for rescue operations.

The ship, which had departed from Turkey a few days prior, is said to have sunk after colliding with rocks in choppy seas, setting off a significant search and rescue effort both on land and at sea.

In video footage, pieces of the hull and broken-up timber from the wreckage can be seen washing up on the beach.

Monitoring organizations report that since 2014, over 20,000 people have perished or gone missing at sea in the central Mediterranean.

A map of the Mediterranean showing the location of Crotone on the Calabrian coast of Italy where the migrant boat was shipwrecked.

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