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2nd Boat Full Of Illegal Aliens Sinks Off Of Sicily

From France's AFP:

Aid workers wheel an illegal immigrant as he arrives in Lampedusa harbour August 19, 2006. At least 10 people died and many were feared missing after a rickety boat carrying as many as 120 illegal immigrants sank off the coast of Sicily on Saturday, the Coast Guard said.

Five migrants found dead after second boat sinks off Italy

Five bodies have been found and around 15 more people are believed missing after a second boat carrying would-be immigrants sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Sicilian maritime authorities reported the new sinking, the second in two days, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Italian island of Lampedusa and said about 10 people had been rescued by a fishing vessel…

ANSA news agency quoted the survivors as saying around 20 people were missing after the inflatable dinghy they were travelling in sank…

Several rescue boats are on their way to the scene of the disaster, which took place just a day after a boat crammed full of would-be immigrants sank off the coast of Lampedusa, killing at least 10 of its passengers.

Some 70 survivors were plucked from the water after the boat sank, several of whom said there had been 120 people on the boat

The prosecutor's office on the southern island of Sicily said Saturday it was launching an investigation into whether an attempt by the Italian navy to rescue the migrants from their overloaded craft may have caused it to overturn

"When we saw the ship come closer, we thought we had been saved. Then there was the crash. The ship hit the bow of our boat and everyone started to cry out and move back. Several minutes later I was in the water," a 26-year-old Moroccan told La Repubblica.

Other survivors, as well as the crew of The Minerva, said the migrants had panicked because they believed the Italian ship was abandoning them as it carried out approach manoeuvres, and that their alarmed reactions had destabilised the boat.

The migrants — Somalis, Eritreans, Moroccans and Libyans — had set off from the port of Zuwara in Libya. Italian authorities Saturday arrested five Libyan passengers suspected of being people-smugglers.

Coastguards overnight Saturday intercepted two other boats with a total of 54 passengers on board. Another 37 people, from a third boat, were arrested after reaching dry land

Note that the Italians arrested the survivors.

In our country they would probably sue for millions — and win.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, August 20th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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