Published on : 02/26/2023 – 13:37
At least 40 migrants, including a newborn baby a few months old, died after their boat sank at dawn not far from the Italian town of Crotone, in Calabria, southern Italy, said Sunday the Italian Coast Guard.
At least forty people, including a newborn baby a few months old, died in the sinking of a boat carrying migrants, near the Italian coast, announced on Sunday January 26, the Italian coast guard. The sinking took place not far from the city of Crotone, in Calabria (south), at dawn.
“At present, 80 people have been recovered alive, some of whom have managed to reach shore after the sinking, and 43 bodies have been found along the coastline,” said a Coast Guard statement issued at the end of the month. morning.
Da questa note, the #GuardiaCostiera è impegnata nella ricerca e soccorso dei naufraghi di un barcone infrantosi lungo le coste crotonesi: 80 le persone in vita recuperate e al momento 43 le vittime.
Le research proseguiranno con mezzi navali, aerei e l’impiego di sub. pic.twitter.com/PLI2LUUjtn
— Guardia Costiera (@guardiacostiera) February 26, 2023
“Calabria is in mourning”
“Dozens and dozens of drowned dead, including children, many missing. Calabria is in mourning for this terrible tragedy,” said regional president Roberto Occhiuto in a statement.
Italian firefighters confirmed on Twitter that they had recovered 28 bodies, while three others were said to have been swept away by sea currents from the boat which Italian media said contained 150 to 250 people. In addition, around 40 people were rescued, according to firefighters.
According to the Coast Guard, the boat was carrying around 120 people and broke on the rocks a few meters from the coast, with firefighters citing “more than 200 people” on board the boat.
Italian police footage shows wood debris scattered over a hundred meters of the beach, where many rescuers and survivors were waiting to be transferred to a reception center.
The most perilous crossing in the world for migrants
Expressing her “deep pain”, the head of government Giorgia Meloni judged in a press release “criminal to put at sea a boat of barely 20 meters with 200 people on board and a bad weather forecast”.
“The government is committed to preventing departures, and with them this kind of tragedy, and will continue to do so, requiring above all the greatest collaboration of the States of departure and origin,” she assured.
The new shipwreck comes just days after parliament passed controversial new rules by the far-right-dominated government on rescuing migrants.
Giorgia Meloni, leader of the far-right Fratelli d’Italia party (FDI), took over as head of a coalition executive in October after promising to reduce the number of migrants arriving in Italy.
The new law requires humanitarian ships to carry out only one rescue at a time, which critics say increases the risk of death in the central Mediterranean whose crossing is considered the most perilous in the world for migrants.
>> To see: “Migrants: deaths under X in the Mediterranean Sea”
The government wants to “fight firmly” against illegal immigration
For Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, this “tragedy (…) demonstrates how it is absolutely necessary to fight firmly against the networks of illegal immigration”.
Italy’s location makes it a top destination for asylum seekers crossing from North Africa to Europe, and Rome has long complained about the number of arrivals to its territory.
According to the Interior Ministry, almost 14,000 migrants have landed in Italy since the start of the year, compared to around 5,200 during the same period last year and 4,200 in 2021.
However, NGOs transport only a small percentage of migrants wishing to arrive in Europe, most being rescued by coast guard or navy vessels.
However, the government accuses the NGOs of stimulating the arrival of migrants through their action and encouraging traffickers.
“People at sea must be saved whatever the cost, without penalizing those who help them,” Carlo Calenda, ex-minister and leader of the centrist Azione party, reacted on Twitter on Sunday.
“It is humanly unacceptable and incomprehensible why we are here witnessing avoidable tragedies,” wrote Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Twitter.
Source: France 24