A newborn was among the more than 40 migrants who perished when their overloaded boat capsized in choppy waters near southern Italy. Dozens more people survived.
More than 100 passengers were on board when the ship apparently broke apart as it attempted to land close to Crotone, a coastal town in Calabria.
At a nearby beach resort, many dead have been found on the sand.
Each year, a sizable number of people travel from Africa to Italy in an effort to escape violence and poverty.
The origin of this boat is unknown, but according to local news organizations, passengers on board were from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia.
The ship sank after colliding with rocks in bad weather, according to the Adnkronos news agency.
The Italian government has organized a sizable search and rescue effort both on land and at sea.
According to a statement from the coastguard, 80 individuals have currently been found alive, including several who made it to shore after the ship sank.
It continued, “43 bodies had been discovered along the coastline.”
Despite landings, there had never been a catastrophe like this, according to Cruto’s mayor, Antonio Ceraso, who spoke to Rai News.
Giorgia Meloni, the Italian prime minister, who was elected last year in part on a promise to stop the influx of migrants into Italy, expressed “great grief” over the event and blamed traffickers for the deaths.
In a statement, she said, “It is barbaric to exchange men, women, and children’s lives for the cost of the ‘ticket’ they purchased in the false expectation of a safe travel.
The government has made a commitment and will keep making efforts to stop departures and the subsequent unfolding of these tragedies.