Six migrants found dead on Sicily shipwreck
The bodies of six people have been found on a beach close to Catania, in Sicily, this morning. The six migrants, probably coming from Syria, died trying to reach the coast after their boat ran aground just 15 metres from the shoreline.
The boat was carrying 120 people, including women and 17 children, who were rescued after the recovery of the corpses on the beach. In that area the sea is particularly deep and, according to reports, the six men who tried to reach the coast couldn’t swim. Among those who died there is also a 14-year-old child.
The bodies were found by the employees of a beach resort nearby, who described the sight as “an apocalyptic scene, full of terror.”
The survivors have been taken to the port of Catania in order to be assisted while scuba divers are searching for other victims. The public prosecutor, Giovanni Salvi, opened an inquiry to cast light upon what happened. The charges are manslaughter and aiding illegal immigration.
In the morning another 40 migrants were rescued close to Syracuse, Sicily. Among them were 22 children.
According to Humans Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organisation, more than 13,500 migrants have drowned trying to reach Europe since 1998.
In 2012, the uprising in North Africa caused a strong immigration flow towards Italy, Spain and Malta in which more than 1500 people lost their lives.
The European Union is currently working on a new surveillance system which would monitor the maritime borders. The new system will use drones to scan the Mediterranean Sea and the African coasts in search of boats carrying illegal immigrants.
Humans Rights Watch, however, pointed out the problems concerning the protection of migrants. According to the organisation, on this matter the European Union needs to develop a unique legislation instead of letting the different countries deal alone with the issue.