Around 200 people are missing and feared dead after an overcrowded boat carrying African migrants across the Mediterranean capsized off the coast of Libya on Thursday, Reuters reports.
The boat was carrying around 400 people when it sank off the town of Zurawa, Reuters cited a Libyan security officer as saying.
The initial reports suggest that many of the people onboard the packed boat remained trapped in the vessel’s hold at the time of the accident.
The Libyan coast guard reportedly managed to save around 201 people, 147 of which were transported to the town of Sabratha and detained in a facility for illegal immigrants.
This is the second tragedy in the Mediterranean with a massive loss of lives this week. Earlier this week the Italian coast guard reported finding around 50 bodies onboard a boat carrying migrants and refugees to Italy.
If the latest death toll is confirmed, it will bring the total number of all migrants and refugees who died attempting to reach Europe by sea in 2015 to 2,623. The death toll recorded in the same period in 2014 was 2,081.
World Maritime News Staff