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Published On: Thu, Oct 3rd, 2013

Italian boat sinks, death toll tops 100 with nearly 200 still missing

The latest reports More than 100 people drowned and over 200 were unaccounted for after a boat packed with African migrants caught fire and sank off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on Thursday.

At least 20 bodies near the sunken ship, an Italian coast guard official told Reuters. Earlier, officials said 94 were dead.

After explaining how the boat’s motor stopped, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said the vessel began taking on water so the on board burned a sheet to attract the attention of rescuers, starting a fire on board.

“Once the fire started, there was a concern about the boat sinking and everyone moved to one side, causing the boat to go down,” Alfano said at a news conference.

Cmdr. Floriana Segreto said the coast guard found the boat on the sea floor at a depth of 130 feet, according to the Associated Press.

She added that they are waiting for the weather to improve Thursday and will then divers start recovering more bodies. They have yet to go inside the boat.

It was one of the deadliest accidents in the notoriously perilous Mediterranean Sea crossing from Africa for migrants seeking a new life in the European Union.

“It’s an immense tragedy,” said Lampedusa Mayor Giusi Nicolini.

“We need only caskets, certainly not ambulances,” Pietro Bartolo, chief of health services on the island, told Radio 24.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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