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41 migrants die in shipwreck off Italy's Lampedusa

41 migrants die in shipwreck off Italy's Lampedusa
A group thought to be migrants from Tunisia aboard a precarious wooden boat   -  
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Santi Palacios/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.


Forty-one migrants have died in a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa Island, survivors told local media in a report on Wednesday citing accounts from survivors.

Some survivors told rescuers that they were on a boat that had set off from Sfax in Tunisia and sank on its way to Italy.

The four survivors, originally from the Ivory Coast and Guinea, reportedly reached Lampedusa on Wednesday.

They told the Coast Guard that 45 of them left Sfax, including three children, at 10am on Thursday, ANSA reports.

In their reports, they said the boat capsized due to a large wave and all migrants on board ended up in the sea.

According to the four, even the only 15 that wore a life jacket, also died ANSA reported.

It follows two other shipwrecks off the Italian island on Saturday that left a woman and her infant dead while more than 100 migrants had to be rescued from the water.

The waters in the Strait of Sicily have been extremely rough in recent days, making it hard for Italian Coast Guard boats to reach stranded migrants.

More than 2,000 people have arrived in Lampedusa in the last few days after being rescued at sea by Italian patrol boats and NGO groups.

Italy is experiencing a sharp surge in sea migration, with almost 92,000 arrivals recorded so far this year, according to interior ministry data last updated on Friday, compared with more than 42,600 in the same period in 2022.

According to reports, more than 1,800 people have lost their lives so far this year in the crossing from North Africa to Europe.

In recent days, Italian patrol boats and charity groups have rescued another 2,000 people who have arrived on Lampedusa.

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