Italian navy recovers 60 bodies from migrant boat wreck

The Italian navy yesterday recovered another 60 bodies from a boat that sank on the way from Libya to Italy.

The boat capsized on April 18th with more than 800 migrants and refugees on board,

The accident has been described as the worst-ever Mediterranean migration accident.

Just after the accident, rescuers found 24 bodies floating at sea and 28 survivors, who said hundreds had died trapped inside the sunken boat.

Italy’s navy said the 60 bodies, bringing to 118 the total number extracted from the wreck in recent months, would be brought to the Sicilian port of Augusta later on Monday.

The migrants’ vessel was located in early May about 157 km north-east of the Libyan coast and 375 metres below sea level.

In a separate development, the death toll from the last week’s accident in which a wooden boat crammed with scores of people capsized in the Malacca Strait off Malaysia has risen to 61, according to reports.

The deceased are mostly men, but also include one toddler and several women, according to Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

MMEA dispatched patrol boats from the Klang Maritime District to the scene after local fishermen spotted the capsized boat off Sabak Bernam in the morning hours of Thursday, September 3, and alerted the authorities.

MMEA teams and local fishermen have reportedly managed to rescue 20 people so far. If no more bodies are found today, the rescue teams will be called off, according to the MMEA rescue director Robert Teh Geok Chuan.

The authorities said that the boat had the capacity to carry 70 people, although local fishermen were reported as saying that they estimated up to 100 people to have been onboard the wooden boat.

The boat was reportedly carrying illegal immigrants to Sumatra, Indonesia, ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday. 

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