Friday, 04 November 2016 - 7:38
UN: Survivors report 240 dead in 2 Mediterranean shipwrecks
Survivors say as many as 240 people have died in two shipwrecks off Libya, the U.N. refugee agency reported Thursday — bringing this year's toll to more than 4,220 migrants dead or missing in risky Mediterranean Sea crossings, the highest count on record.
Carlotta Sami, a UNHCR spokeswoman in Italy, said 31 survivors of two shipwrecks who arrived on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa reported that the rubber dinghies they were traveling in had capsized in heavy seas shortly after leaving Libya.
Sami said 29 people survived the first wreck, reporting that about 120 other people on their boat had gone missing. And in a separate operation, two women found swimming at sea told rescuers that another 120 people had died in their wreck.
In both cases, most people on board appeared to have been sub-Saharan Africans, but Sami said aid workers were still ascertaining details about the shipwrecks.