instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads

Heart of Palermo

Dozens of emigrants drown off Libya

From The Guardian this afternoon:

Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images
Dozens of bodies have been recovered from the Mediterranean, a day after the shipwreck that caused the deaths of up to 150 migrants.

Eyewitnesses described harrowing scenes in the sea, in what a senior UN official called the "the worst Mediterranean tragedy" so far this year.

Fishermen told AFP they saw bodies as they waded through the wreckage searching for survivors: "There were bodies floating on the surface of the water where the boat went down."

One survivor, Abdallah Osman, said the boat making the perilous journey from Libya started to fill with water about 90 minutes after setting out to sea on Wednesday night. Then its engine broke down.

Over the following six hours, men, women and children began to drown.

"Shortly after dawn, fishermen came out with their small boats and started taking us to shore, five at a time ... That went on until nine in the morning," he told AFP.


'I saw hell': under fire inside Libya's refugee detention centres
 
 
Read more
At about 10.30 am Anne-Cecilia Kjaer, a nurse activity manager at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), arrived at a military base in Khoms in Libya, where the survivors were recovering.

"It was a very, very hot day. People were sitting against a wall to find some shade. They were barely dressed – some were wearing just a towel or underwear. They were just sitting in the shade, in shock.

"One man from Sudan, who was literally pulled out of the water, told our team that he had seen his wife and kids drown. He seemed aghast, just sitting there in shock."

Kjaer said those on the boat originated from Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt and Bangladesh.

Be the first to comment