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Italian Fire Brigade retrieves contents of migrant vessel which capsized in 2015

Italian Fire Brigade retrieves contents of migrant vessel which capsized in 2015

Italy

Personnel of the Italian Fire Brigade have started work on retrieving bodies from the migrant boat that sank off the coast of Libya in 2015.

The FIre Brigade at the weekend released a video footage of its personnel at work on the vessel which is believed to have been carrying more than 800 people at the time it drowned.

The exercise started soon after the vessel was brought to the Sicilian port of Augusta on Friday July 1 after it had been raised from the seabed.

There were only 28 survivors from the incident and they said many women and children were locked in the lower deck of the vessel.

The navy had previously retrieved over 100 bodies in and around the wreck and about 50 bodies on the day of the accident in April 2015, but some 250 to 300 corpses are still believed to be trapped in the vessel.

There remains however the arduous task of identifying the bodies before their burial.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said more than 10,000 migrants have died or disappeared in their perilous crossings of the Mediterranean sea to Europe since 2014.

Over 2,800 of that figure died in the first half of 2016 alone according to the UNHCR.