Calabria: 43 people were killed when a boat carrying migrants crashed against rocks near the coast of southern Italy early on Sunday, the Italian coast guard and police noted. The shipwreck took place near Steccato di Cutro, a seaside resort on the eastern coast of Calabria.
“At present, a total of 80 people have been found alive – some of whom have managed to reach the shore after the shipwreck – and 43 bodies have been found along the coast,” read a statement by the coast guard.
The boat was carrying about 120 people and hit rocks ‘a few metres from the shore,’ the coast guard stated, adding that the search for other possible survivors was underway.
Earlier, the Mayor of Cutro, Antonio Ceraso, told the SkyTG24 news channel that the migrants’ wooden boat had ‘disintegrated’ amid stormy sea conditions. Parts of the wreckage ruins were found strewn across some 300 metres of the coast.
Ceraso said he witnessed ‘a spectacle that you would never want to see in your life … a gruesome sight … that stays with you for all your life.’
Firefighters searching the sea on jet skis, faced difficulties due to the harsh conditions, Calabria firefighters’ spokesman Danilo Maida told Reuters.
Italian news agency Adnkronos reported that the migrants caught up in the shipwreck came from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, while ANSA said they came from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed ‘deep sorrow’ for the deadly incident, and pledged to stop irregular sea migration to prevent more deaths at sea.
“It is a huge tragedy which shows the absolute need to act firmly against irregular migration channels,” Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said in a statement.
Source : Timesnow