About 146 migrants feared dead after Mediterranean boat tragedy

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About 146 migrants are feared dead after a rubber boat they were travelling in capsized in the Mediterranean, the International Migration Organization (IOM) said on Wednesday.

One migrant survived the incident, a 16-year-old Gambian boy who was found hanging onto a piece of debris in the sea.

The survivor was then transferred to an Italian Coast Guard ship and brought to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa.

“He was very tired when they found him. He’s resting now, so we’ll have more details later,” Reuters reports IOM spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo.

“The boy said they left Sabratha, Libya, a couple days ago on a rubber boat with 147 sub-Saharan Africans on board, including five children and some pregnant women,” Di Giacomo said.

In the past two days, rescuers have picked up more than 1,100 migrants at sea, and recovered one body, Italy’s Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard did not comment on the latest shipwreck.

So far this year nearly 600 migrants have died trying to reach Italy from North Africa, IOM estimates, after some 4,600 deaths last year. Migrant arrivals to Italy are up more than 50 percent this year on the same period of last year.

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