‘Dozens Die’ As Migrant Boat Sinks In Mediterranean

MediterraneanDespite EU efforts to prevent another tragedy in the Mediterranean, aid group, ‘Save The Children’ says dozens of migrants have drowned after a boat sank south of Sicily.

The group says survivors reported that many people fell into the sea as a rescue vessel was approaching.

The survivors have today arrived in the city of Catania.

At least 1,750 people have died this year trying to cross the Mediterranean, a 20-fold increase on the same period in 2014.

Save The Children’s representative in Catania, Giovanna Di Benedetto, said that the latest sinking is thought to have happened on Sunday, but the exact toll is not known.

Captain Of Capsized Migrants’ Boat Arraigned Before Italian Court

Mohammed Ali Malek captiain of Migrants boat
Tunisian national Mohammed Ali Malek, understood to be the captain of the boat that overturned off the coasts of Libya.

The Tunisian man, who captained a boat that capsized off Libya with the loss of more than 750 lives, has appeared in court on the Italian Island of Sicily.

Prosecutors want to charge 27-year-old Mohammed Ali Malek, with homicide and people-trafficking.

Mr Malek’s lawyer said his client was keen to tell his story to prove his innocence to the court in Catania.

One of the 28 survivors had given nearly five hours of testimony, with three others due to speak later.

Prosecutors say survivors identified Mr Malek as the captain of the boat who accidentally rammed the overloaded fishing boat into a merchant ship that had come to rescue it, last Sunday.

The boat capsized with hundreds of migrants allegedly locked in its lower decks and unable to get out.

The death toll is believed to be the highest from a single such incident.

Migrants have continued to seek entry into Europe through the Mediterranean sea, ignoring the risk, since several deaths have been recorded along the route.

Migrants Boat Capsize: Captain Charged

The captain of the migrants boat that capsized has been arrested and chargedThe Tunisian captain of a boat that capsized off Libya on Sunday, killing hundreds of migrants, has been arrested and charged with reckless multiple homicide, Italian officials say.

According to BBC, the Captain has been charged alongside a member of the crew with favouring illegal immigration.

The charges came after the European Union (EU) set out a package of measures to ease the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

Search and rescue operations will be stepped up, and there will be a campaign to destroy traffickers’ boats.

A homicide investigation has been opened into the disaster, he added.

After speaking to the survivors, the United Nations (UN) refugee agency said about 800 people died in the disaster. Meanwhile, earlier accounts had put the death toll at about 700.

“There were a little over 800 people on board, including children aged between 10 and 12,” said Carlotta Sami, of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Italy.

“There were Syrians, about 150 Eritreans, Somalians… They had left Tripoli at about 8:00am on Saturday.”

It was earlier reported that the ship was in distress in the Mediterranean and sent out an SOS.