Survivors of the hazardous crossing from Libya often tell of how traffickers lock migrants in the hold who pay less for the voyage — mostly black Africans.
Packed inside the confined space they not only risk drowning if the rickety boats capsize, but many are also overcome by diesel fumes.
“This tragedy will not be the last if the international community does not find a solution to the crisis in Libya,” from where most of the migrants set out, Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said.
The European Union says the scale of migration, driven by war, disaster and poverty, has no parallel since the end of World War II.
“The world finds itself facing the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War,” EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Friday.
Italy and Greece have borne the brunt of the emergency. ∞∞∞∞∞ MORE »»»»