Seventy more bodies were recovered off the Italian island of Lampedusa on Sunday, taking to 181 the death toll from last week’s migrant boat disaster.
But as divers brought their sad haul back to shore they knew that many more bodies remain underwater. Up to 520 Eritreans and Somalis were on the stricken vessel. Only 155 survived.
As better weather allowed salvage operations to resume after Thursday’s drama, the Italian Integration Minister visited Lampedusa.
Insisting that such a tragedy must never be allowed to happen again, Cecile Kyenge said that Italy could not deal with the tragedy alone but must act together with Europe.
“We must give answers to those who flee, need protection and come here for help,” she said.
The minister also announced greater resources would be put in place for immigrants. Yet conditions are difficult for recent arrivals on Lampedusa and, under Italian law, survivors of Thursday’s disaster face criminal charges, repatriation and a 5,000 euro fine.