At Least 11 Dead and Over 60 Missing in 2 Italy Shipwrecks

( – The Mediterranean Sea is known for being one of the most deadly migration routes in the world. Thousands of people died in 2023 while trying to cross the body of water. Officials have revealed more died in recent days.

On June 17, the German aid group Resqship posted an announcement on social media revealing rescue workers evacuated dozens of migrants from a shipwreck off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy. Resqship Captain Ingo Veert spoke to BBC’s “Today” and said that his crew rescued 50 migrants at first. Then they used hammers and axes to smash through the ship to save two men who were trapped in the cargo hold of the ship as it sank. That’s when they discovered the bodies of 10 men who were already dead.

According to a joint statement from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the boat departed from Libya and was carrying migrants from Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Syria. The victims died from suffocation.

In a separate shipwreck, a boat that set off from Türkiye eight days before caught fire and turned over. Rescue workers learned of the shipwreck after a French ship called it in. Sixty-four people, including 26 kids, were missing in the accident. It took place about 100 miles off the coast of Calabria in the Ionian Sea.

Twelve people were rescued from the second wreck but one of them later died. Survivors said the ship left Türkiye eight days before the accident. Its engine caught fire and it capsized. The people aboard the vessel were from Syria, Iran, and Iraq.

More than 800 people have died or gone missing in the Central Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of the year. That’s an average of five per day. The UN agencies said every shipwreck is a “collective failure, a tangible sign of the inability of states to protect the most vulnerable people.”

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