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MIGRANTS: THE WORST SHIPWRECKS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SINCE 2010

Wednesday’s sinking of a boat overloaded with migrants south-west of Greece, which may have claimed hundreds of victims, joins a long list of similar tragedies in the Mediterranean in recent years.

Since the beginning of the year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has recorded 1,166 deaths or disappearances of migrants in the Mediterranean. The death toll has risen to 26,924 since 2014.

Here are the worst migrant shipwrecks in the Mediterranean since 2010:

– Up to 900 dead in Libyan waters –
In April 2015, between 800 and 900 migrants perished off the Libyan coast when a 25-meter trawler sank after being struck by a Portuguese cargo ship sent to rescue it. The fishing boat sank before the eyes of the crew, who were only able to save 28 people.

Still in Libyan waters:

– In May 2011, refugees arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa claim to have witnessed the sinking of another migrant boat in Libyan waters. The boat, carrying 600 people, was reported missing.

– In April 2015, almost 400 migrants die when a makeshift boat sinks around 150 kilometers off the Libyan coast.

– In May 2016, dozens of migrants are reported missing after an overloaded fishing boat sinks off the coast of Libya. The Italian coastguard reported “350 people overboard”.

– In February 2015, more than 300 migrants disappeared at sea when the inflatable boats in which they had been travelling capsized off the coast of Libya, and 29 others froze to death while rescued in extreme conditions by the Italian coastguard.

– April 2016: 500 drowned in Italy
Around 500 people die in April 2016 off the coast of Italy, when a large, overloaded boat sinks, according to survivor accounts. 41 people were rescued after drifting for three days in another boat.

Also in Italian waters, in October 2013, a fishing boat from Libya carrying over 500 migrants caught fire and sank in the middle of the night, 550 meters off the coast of the Sicilian island of Lampedusa. 366 people, many of them women and children, drowned, trapped in the holds, with only 155 surviving.

– September 2014: 500 missing in Malta-
A boat departing from Egypt with 500 people on board, only ten of whom survive, sinks southeast of Malta in September 2014, after being rammed by smugglers aboard another boat. The tragedy occurred after the passengers refused a transfer to a small boat to get to Italy.

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