At least 94 dead and hundreds missing in Sicily shipwreck
October 4 , 2013
African migrants traveling to Italy today were spilled into the sea when their ship capsized off the island of Lampedusa in Sicily.
At least 94 people have been confirmed dead and 200 passengers are yet to be accounted for. This marked one of the deadliest accidents to have occurred in recent times during the migrant crossing from Africa to Italy. The death toll is expected to rise in time and Interior Minister Angelino Alfanso is overseeing the rescue operations first-hand.
According to the Lampedusa Mayor, the ship had at least one three-year old child as well as a pregnant woman. "It's an immense tragedy," he said. Coast guard ships & helicopters as well as local boats were trying to find survivors; 159 of the passengers have been rescued as yet.
Reports suggest that the ship caught fire after setting off flares to make itself visible to the passing ships.
According to the coast guard, migrants were from Somalia, Ghana and Eritrea; Pope Francis sent his condolences.