Thirteen refugees die trying to reach Italy

Share this article

Thousands of asylum-seekers have landed in Sicily in recent weeks. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
12:00 CEST+02:00
Thirteen refugees drowned on Monday while attempting to swim ashore after their vessel ran aground off Italy's coast, the local mayor said.

"There were 13 dead. Some people were saved and sent to nearby hospitals," Franco Susino, the mayor of Scicli in southeast Sicily near where the incident happened, said on news channel SkyTG24.

"We did what we could to save human lives. Some tourists raised the alarm and helped out," he said, adding that he believed the refugees had been thrown overboard by crew members.

"These people are treated like animals," he said.

SkyTG24 and the ANSA news agency said there were between 150 and 200 people packed on the boat and Susino said most of them were from Eritrea.

Ansa said two suspected crew members have been arrested under an Italian law against people who facilitate illegal immigration.

Story continues below…

In a similar incident in Catania in another part of Sicily in August, six young Egyptians drowned trying to reach the shore.

Don't want to miss a story about Italy? - Then join The Local Italy on Facebook and Twitter.

Share this article

From our sponsors

Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections

Election Day in the U.S. is less than a month away, and time is running out for Americans living overseas to vote absentee. Here's what to do before it’s too late.


Popular articles