Five children are among 45 migrants who have died in a shipwreck off the coast of Libya. The UN’s refugee agency, UNCHR, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have described this as “the largest registered shipwreck” this year.
Over eighty people were trying to cross to Europe from Libya on a vessel whose engine [‘has exploited’ – exploded?]. The 45 who drowned in the disaster were mainly from Senegal, Mali, Chad and Ghana. 37 survived the accident and were rescued by a local fisherman; but they were detained when they returned to Libya.
Libya is considered the major country of transit to Europe for migrants from Africa. More than 300 people are known to have died this year while crossing from Libya to Europe, but the real number is believed to be much higher.
IOM, and UNHCR called for urgent action after the shipwreck. They said:
“The two organizations are calling for a review of states’ approach to the situation after this latest tragic incident in the Mediterranean. There is an urgent need to strengthen the current search and rescue capacity to respond to distress calls.”