Tragedy stroke again among the migrants who try to cross the Mediterranean Sea while fleeing from Libya, with 40 deaths confirmed on Saturday. According to the Italian navy commander of the rescue ship, the people travelling on the overcrowded smuggling boat apparently died because of fuel fumes.
This year alone, tens of thousands of migrants have been putting their lives in danger by starting a perilous journey over the Mediterranean. Most of them are in search of asylum in Europe, and smugglers have taken grave advantage of their poor situation.
Whether they were fleeing from poverty, war or persecution, the 320 migrants were thankfully saved by Cmdr. Massimo Tozzi. Even though a formal investigation has yet to take place, first responders reported that “from inhaling exhaust fumes” seems to be the chief cause of death.
Reports from the navy ship Cigala Fulgosi describe a dreadful situation of what was happening on board of the smuggling boat; the bodies of the dead were found in the hold, “lying in water, fuel, human excrement.”
A final death toll of the tragedy is yet to be released, but Tozzi said children and women were among the survivors, who were crying for the tragic death of their husbands and children who didn’t make it in the crossing.
Survivors were eventually brought to an Italian port, after being transferred to a ship working with the Frontex mission, a European initiative that aims to save the lives of migrants crossing the Mediterranean.
Unfortunately, this event is not singular, as desperate people all over the Mediterranean are trying to reach safety by all means, even if it comes in the shape of an inflatable dinghy that can be sunk so easily. A group of Turkish migrants spent a dramatic night this way, trying to stay alive, in an attempt that paints a picture of desperation for the safety of Europe.
According to a report released by the International Organization for Migration, more than 2,300 migrants have perished at sea this year alone during a crossing. Most of them turn to smugglers for help, which often proves to be a matter of misplaced trust.
Rescue organizations might never be able to report all the casualties, as many smuggling boats are believed to have sunk without rescuers knowing. With the number of migrants attempting to reach Europe hitting a record this year, a universal call is being issued to all European countries to come together and lend a hand of hope.
Image Source: Star FM Online