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Search continues for bodies in Lampedusa boat wreckage

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Search continues for bodies in Lampedusa boat wreckage


Divers are continuing their search for bodies after a boat packed with African migrants capsized off the Italian island of Lampedusa.

More than 100 dead have been recovered so far with at least 200 people still unaccounted for.

The boat, carrying mainly Eritreans and Somalis, sank in the early hours of Thursday

Veronica Lentini, a field officer with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Italy described how the tragedy had unfolded: “The migrants told us there were about five hundred of them and they had no way to signal their arrival when they were close to Lampedusa. They set a blanket on fire to make a signal, but some gasoline on the boat caught light and the water caused the fire to spread. They were scared and all moved on one side of the boat, so the boat capsized”

There is not thought to be any realistic hope of adding to the 155 survivors already pulled from the water.

The ship’s captain, a 35-year-old Tunisian man, had apparently been deported from Italy in April this year. He is currently being held under arrest

Italy is holding a day of mourning, and schools are observing a minute’s silence in memory of the victims.

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