“We coordinated four operations from the early morning until evening. Unfortunately during the last one we recovered the bodies of six migrants,” a source from the Italian coast guard told Xinhua late on Thursday.
A total of 74 migrants were traveling on a rubber boat which was found partly deflated in the last rescue operation, the source said.
“There were already people in the water and we managed to save almost all of them except for six who could not make it,” he added.
The source said the exact cause of the deadly wreckage was unknown. “But all of these migrant boats travel in totally unsafe and overloaded conditions. It is obvious that accidents can happen every second, in fact it is almost unavoidable,” he explained to Xinhua.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement published on its website last week that approximately 37,000 migrants and refugees had already arrived by sea in Italy and Greece in 2016, or close to 10 times the total in 2015 by the same date. Enditem