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Darshita Jain

Around 59 people were killed in a boat crash off the coast of Calabria, Italy. Italian authorities reported that the victims were migrants, including women, children and infants and the boat broke apart on the rocks.

The death toll is tentative and is probably going to go up. In that area of the Mediterranean Sea, poor weather has caused the debris field to grow, making search activities more difficult.

The first three bodies showed up on the beach close to Staccato di Cutro in Southern Italy around 4:40 a.m. local time on Sunday. 

The ship, which had 140 to 150 people on board, reportedly departed from the Turkish city of Izmir three or four days ago, according to Reuters. 

About 80 people were rescued from the river while clinging to the boat’s wreckage, according to the Italian fire department. The survivors, according to them, were from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

The ship sailed away. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni mentioned people smugglers. In a statement, she added that launching a boat just 20 meters long with 200 passengers on board in bad weather was illegal. Under the pretense of a safe voyage, it is inhumane to trade men, women, and children’s lives for the cost of a ticket.

Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi stated that additional procedures must be introduced to reduce such risky excursions. 

Intercepting migrant boats was the hard-right administration of Meloni’s top priority. The parliament passed a new rule this week that makes it more challenging for charities to conduct rescue missions. 

According to UNHCR figures, 11,874 migrants have entered Italy by water so far in 2023, 678 of whom arrived in Calabria.

Just 8.3%, 6.7%, and 0.7%, respectively, of the new entries come from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. The remaining arrivals are largely from Africa; of them, 17.3% are from Ivory Coast and 13.1% are from Guinea. The majority of the remaining nations are found in other continents, primarily in North Africa. 

According to the Missing Migrants Project of the International Organization for Migration, the Central Mediterranean Road is the most perilous migrant route, with at least 20,334 fatalities there since 2014.