More than 40 people, including several children and a newborn baby died off the coast of Calabria in a wooden boat accident which broke apart on rocks. The vessel sank. The wreck of the boat was reportedly seen by a fishers early on Sunday along 200-300 meters of coast. Italian media said the death toll was almost certain to rise.The Italian authorities organized a large search-and-rescue operation on land and at sea. The Italian coastguard, firefighters, police and Red Cross rescue workers attended the scene. Around 89 people, migrants from Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, Bangladesh and Afghanistann were saved from the water. Some have been taken to hospital.
Large numbers of people fleeing conflict and poverty make the crossing from Africa to Italy again and again. “There had been landings but never a tragedy like this,” the mayor of Cruto, Antonio Ceraso, declared to media. “It’s an ongoing miracle that this doesn’t happen every single time, because they use old, unseaworthy boats, manned by unprepared people, and find sea conditions that are almost always unfavorable, because during a week-long journey you will always experience at least 2 days of bad weather,” a Police official said.