57 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes off Libya
Published: 10:52 AM, 27 July 2021 Updated: 01:02 PM, 27 July 2021
A boat carrying migrants capsized off the Libyan coast of the Mediterranean. The United Nations fears at least 57 people have been drowned, a UN immigration official said on Monday.
Safa Msehli, a spokeswoman for the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM), said the accident took place on Sunday near the western coastal city of Khums in Libya.
Al Jazeera reports that there were at least 73 immigrants on board.
Safa Msehli said 18 people were rescued from the boat by fishermen and coastguards and brought ashore.
Safa added that the boat was carrying citizens of Nigeria, Ghana and the Gambia. Survivors say the boat’s engine “stopped” first, later, it capsized due to hostile weather.
Safa said on Twitter that there were at least “20 women and two children” on board.
‼️ A shipwreck off #libya claims at least 57 lives today after a boat capsized near Khums.— Safa Msehli (@msehlisafa) July 26, 2021
According to survivors brought to shore by fishermen and the coast guard, at least 20 women and two children were among those who drowned. pic.twitter.com/QXqs1Oc7kx
Thousands of migrants from Africa and the Middle East have recently crossed the Mediterranean due to poverty. The destination of most of these immigrants is Italy. In 2021, the rate of migration has increased again.
Death by drowning on the way to Italy across the Mediterranean is not stopping. Despite increasing surveillance at sea to prevent migrants, many are still crossing the sea at the risk of their lives.
According to the IOM, in the first six months of 2021, more than 500 migrants drowned on their way from Africa to Italy and Malta across the Mediterranean.