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More migrants die crossing the Strait of Sicily

If you have enough money to pay the traffickers, you can get a spot in the open air on the deck, and maybe even be allowed to wear a life jacket, which takes up precious, expensive room. Everybody else is relegated to the hold and diesel fumes -- locked in -- for the duration of the sea crossing. This usually means the hold is filled with women and children , who earn less and can pay less to the traffickers.
At least 40 African migrants died suffocated in the diesel fumes of the old fishing boat that traffickers used to take them to Sicily. 312 people were saved by the merchant marine ship, including women and children, according to a front page report in today's La Repubblica. Another 420 immigrant are expected to arive at the port of Augusta tomorrow. Some 2,300 African immigrants lost their lives at sea between Africa and Italy in 2015.
"A horrible scene that affected the crew so much: tens of cadavers piled up in the hld, the women who cried for their men," said Captain Massimo Tozzi, commander of the patrol boat Cigala Fulgosi, which today rescued a boat with 312 aboard, among whol 45 women and three minors and at least 40 corpses in the hold. "We recuperated 8 of them," the captain said. "Now we will continue transferring the bodies, but they are piled one atop the other and the exact number is not yet clear. There could be dead children in there."
The fishing boat was found a few miles off the coast of Libya.
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