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On a 15 meter-long boat landed on the island of Lampedusa, southern Italy, the Italian coastguards found 25 bodies of dead migrants coming from Libya.
According to Reuters news agency on board were 296 people, including 36 women and 21 children. They are all refugees fleeing from Sub Saharan Africa.
The 25 bodies were found in the engine room of the boat during a rescue operation a mile away from Lampedusa. The victims were all men except of one woman, and most of them were young. They
During last night, when the boat was around 35 miles off Lampedusa, the coastguards got a call from the mobile phone of one of the migrants on board. The bodies were no mentioned in the call and the rescuers couldn’t imagine what was to be discovered in the hold. From the first reconstructions of the events the 25 victims seem to be dead of asphyxiation by the engine fumes.
The only access for the engine room was a 50 centimeters wide trapdoor. The space was insufficient for all those passengers, and the gas from the engine made the hold’s air unbreathable.
The corpses were already in state of decomposition, for this reason investigators believe that the migrants died in international waters.
Doctor Pietro Bartolo said to reporters “Given the state in which the corpses were found, they could have been dead for at least 48 hours”.
A survivor told also that another man was dropped overboard, some sources reported he was already dead, others that he was still alive.
Italian police keeps on questioning the survivors and the corpses will be subjected to postmortem examination to understand the real causes of death. The boat is under sequestration and an inquiry has been set up.
Another tragedy in the way of the hope to Lampedusa Island, the gate of Europe for the North African refugees.