41 feared dead in Mediterranean migrant shipwreck

Number of migrants arriving in Italy reaches 94,000, more than double last year’s figure

ROME: Forty-one migrants including three children are feared dead after a shipwreck last week in the Mediterranean, UN agencies said, citing four survivors brought to the Italian island of Lampedusa on Wednesday.

Their metal boat overturned in bad weather early Friday morning after setting off from the Tunisian port of Sfax, said a joint statement from the UN agencies for refugees, children and migration.

The survivors — a 13-year-old boy, a woman and two men — were rescued by a merchant ship and brought to Lampedusa by the Italian coast guard, they said.

In a separate statement, the Italian Red Cross, which manages the migrant reception centre on the island, said the four were generally in good health.

They said they were from Ivory Coast and Guinea, and were unrelated to the missing migrants, it said.

The four managed to survive the shipwreck by floating on inner tubes, before reaching another boat at sea.

The shipwreck is one of several deadly incidents reported in recent days after a period of bad weather.

Officials on Monday had reported that 16 migrants died in shipwrecks off the coasts of Tunisia and Western Sahara.

And on Sunday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), said at least 30 people were missing after two shipwrecks off Lampedusa.

The tiny island, located just 145 kilometres from Tunisia, is the first port of call for many migrants heading from North Africa to Europe.

But many of them do not survive, making the Central Mediterranean migrant crossing the world’s deadliest.

More than 1,800 people died attempting the route so far this year, according to IOM figures from Friday —

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