59 migrants killed in shipwreck as bodies wash up on Italian beach

59 migrants killed in shipwreck as bodies wash up on Italian beach thumbnail


t least 59 people have died after a migrant boat fell apart off the eastern coast of Italy’s Calabria region.

The vessel, which was carrying around 150 people from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia, crashed into rocky reefs on Sunday.

Some 27 bodies were found washed up on the shores of Steccato di Cutro, a seaside resort in the province of Crotone.

More bodies were spotted in the water. A baby and several children were among the dead.

According to an Italian official, the boat left from Izmir in Turkey three or four days ago.


The official told Reuters that 58 migrants had died while 81 survivors had come ashore, including 20 who were now in hospital.

One survivor was arrested on migrant trafficking charges, the Guardia di Finanza customs police said.

Most of the survivors came from Afghanistan.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed her “deep sorrow” for the migrants and pledged to stop irregular sea migration to prevent more tragedies.

“The government is committed to preventing (migrant) departures, and with them the unfolding of these tragedies, and will continue to do so, first of all by demanding maximum collaboration from (migrants’) countries of departure and of origin,” a statment by the prime minister said.

Pope Francis told worshippers that he was praying for the migrants in his weekly address to crowds in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City.

“I heard with sorrow of the shipwreck off the Calabrian coast near Crotone,” he said.

“Already 40 dead have been recovered, many of them children. I pray for every one of them, for the missing and for the other surviving migrants.”

Italy is one of the main landing points for migrants trying to enter Europe by sea. The so-called central Mediterranean route is known as one of the world’s most dangerous.

According to the International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrants Project, 20,333 people have died or gone missing in the central Mediterranean since 2014.