More than 2,000 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe this year, according to the International Organisation for Migrants (IOM).
Over the past week, a total of eighteen coffins have arrived in the Italian ports of Palermo and Messina, containing the bodies of the latest migrants to lose their lives.
“Many migrants unfortunately died on the boats because especially the sub-Saharan migrants are forced to embark in the hold of the boat where there is the engine,” said Flavio di Giacomo, IOM spokesman.
“There are no windows and where it is very easy to die because of the exhalation (inhalation) of the fumes of the engine.”
Scores of migrants continue to arrive in Italy. More than three hundred arrived on the island of Sicily on Tuesday, after being rescued at sea. They were picked up in three different operations off the coast of Libya.
The International Organisation for Migrants says the Channel of Sicily is the deadliest route for people in search of a better life.