VIDEO: 240 Migrants Down off Libya in 48 Hours, 21 Bodies Recovered

Fri Nov 4, 2016 11:54:54

Rescue workers on the Libyan coast recover the bodies of four migrants as the UN says 240 migrants down off Libya in 48 hours.

Rescue workers recovered four migrant bodies from the Mediterranean Sea in Tripoli's Janzour city, bringing the total number to 21 recovered bodies, as of Thursday (November 3). The migrants were sailing on a boat which authorities believed had capsized last week, killing a reported 129 people.

Tripoli's port authority and the Red Crescent have recovered 21 bodies since Sunday (October 30).

"The agency believes the accident was due to an unintended consequence of European efforts to stop people-smugglers and to train Libyan coastguards."

"The information that we have received in the past few days is that there bodies of migrants who washed up on the shores of Janzour. Today we recovered around four bodies, which brings the total of bodies we've recovered from Janzour to twenty-one," said Mohamed Bengharfaa, a Red Crescent worker in Tripoli.

An additional 240 migrants drowned off the coast of Libya within the last 48 hours, the UN migration agency said on Thursday.

Five rescue ships, coordinated by the Italian coastguard, were within sight of the migrants but, despite attempts to rescue them, most died, the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) chief spokesman, Leonard Doyle, said.

It wasn't immediately clear which boats the twenty-one recovered bodies had been on.

"Today we received new information that there was a boat which was rescued by volunteers in the city.

They weren't able to control any of the migrants on the boat, and most of them escaped. One of them was in a very bad condition and he was taken to a hospital, but now he is somewhat stable," Bengharfaa said.

Rescue efforts will continue over the coming days. The IOM said that the latest deaths meant 4,220 lives had been lost in the Mediterranean so far this year, compared with 3,777 in the whole of 2015.


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