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33 people have died after a migrant boat crashes off southern Italy

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On Sunday, media reports confirmed that at least 33 people were killed in an accident involving a boat carrying migrants off the southern coast of Italy.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported, citing police, that the bodies were found on the beach in Cutro, in the Crotone region of Calabria, and in the sea.

The report said that the number of victims may rise significantly because many bodies have not yet been recovered from the sea.

According to preliminary information, the migrants were on a fishing boat, which was wrecked in heavy waves, after which some of those on board drowned.

No information was provided on the nationality of the victims or their port of departure.

ANSA reported that about 50 survivors were discovered on the beach. They were also on the boat that crashed.

“At the moment there are many victims,” ​​said Luca Cari, a spokesman for the firefighters involved in the rescue effort, without specifying the death toll, as rescue efforts are still underway.

There were no immediate details on the nationalities of the migrants in the reports.

It was not clear at first where the boat had set off from, but the migrant ships arriving in Calabria usually departed from the Turkish or Egyptian shores.

Many of these boats reach remote stretches of Italy’s long southern coast without the help of coast guards or humanitarian rescue vessels.

Every year, many people make the perilous crossing from North Africa across the Mediterranean Sea into the European Union, heading for Italy and Malta, hoping for a better life in Europe.

The boats are often overcrowded and unsafe, which means that there are often serious accidents.

According to Italy’s Interior Ministry, 13,067 migrants entered the country by sea this year as of Thursday, far more than double the number in the same period last year, when there were 5,273.

A new law for Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing government, which passed the Senate last week, has made the work of civilian sea rescuers even more difficult. However, the majority of immigrants arrive in Italy on their ships and boats.

According to the latest data, nearly a million people applied for asylum in the EU in 2022, the highest level since 2016 and a 50% increase from 2021.

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