After their boat capsized on rocks and sank off the coast of southern Italy on Sunday, nearly 50 migrants—including 12 children—were dead, and many more were still missing.
There were more than 170 migrants aboard the ship, including “children and entire families,” according to a joint statement from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
According to accounts, bodies washed up close to the seaside town of Steccato di Cutro. According to Red Cross officials, up to 80 persons survived, all adults; 22 were hospitalized.
Rescuers saw men hoisting kids above their heads in the choppy water; nevertheless, the kids subsequently perished, including an infant and a set of young twins.
A Red Cross worker, Ignazio Mangione, stated, “unfortunately, all the youngsters are among the missing or were found dead on the beach.”
By Sunday evening, 59 bodies had been found.
Three enormous sections of the ship were thrown onto the beach close to Steccato di Cutro after it split apart after slamming into rocks in the rough seas.
Responders ranged from local fishermen to the Italian Coast Guard and migrant aid organizations.
According to the joint statement, the 220-foot ship left Turkey five days prior, transporting passengers from Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Somalia, and other nations. Iranian nationals were also on board, according to Reuters. The boat sank just before daybreak on the Ionian Sea, close to Italy’s Calabrian region’s eastern shore.
The mayor of Crotone, Vincenzo Voce, said on Italian state television, “It’s a terrible tragedy. The city will find spaces in the cemetery for the dead.
According to the IOM Missing Migrants Project, at least 220 people—including those who died on Sunday—have perished or gone missing in the central Mediterranean route this year alone.