Migrant crisis: Hundreds dead after capsize, say survivors – ‘My wife and my baby drowned in front of me’Posted by Jim at Monday, April 18, 2016
18 April 2016 (BBC News) – Hundreds of migrants drowned when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean, survivors have told the BBC - although there is no official confirmation.
The 41 survivors say they were transferred to another vessel when it sank in the middle of the night.
They said that up to 500 people died, but coastguards in the region have been unable to confirm their accounts.
Numbers of migrants making the dangerous sea route from Libya to Italy have surged this year.
The survivors, from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and Egypt, spoke to the BBC from the southern Greek city of Kalamata, where they are being held after their rescue.
According to the group, about 240 migrants left the Libyan port city of Tobruk heading for Italy.
"My wife and my baby drowned in front of me," is the first thing Muaz from Ethiopia tells me, before insisting that at least 500 others died.
"Two-hundred-and-forty of us set off from Libya but then the traffickers made us get on to a bigger wooden boat around 30m in length that already had at least 300 people in it," said Abdul Kadir, a Somali.
"I was one of the few who managed to swim back to the smaller boat," added Muaz.
Once out in the Mediterranean, they said they were transferred to a larger boat already packed with more than 300 people, which then capsized. [more]