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Swedish ship delivers migrants, 52 bodies to Palermo

Friday, August 28, 2015 - 01:17

Hundreds of migrants disembark a Swedish coastguard vessel and 52 bodies are brought to shore in the Sicilian port of Palermo. Natasha Howitt reports.

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Another ship carrying hundreds of migrants arrives into the Sicilian port of Palermo. They were rescued by the Swedish Coastguard off the coast of Libya, but with them were found the bodies of 52 people. Lowered from the deck of the ship in a white container, survivors say they died from breathing in petrol fumes. The migrants were found below hatches leading down to the hold of a wooden boat, found by chance by a Swedish ship called to help migrants onboard a nearby rubber dinghy. The Communications Officer for the Swedish Coastguard described the atmosphere below deck as inhumane - low in oxygen and overcrowded. (SOUNDBITE) (English) COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER SWEDISH COAST GUARD, MATTIAS LINDHOLM, SAYING: "This is one of the tragedies we have seen a lot in the Mediterranean, it is the first time for the Swedish crew and the Swedish ship and unfortunately it is one of many in total." On Thursday, as many as 50 refugees were found dead in a parked lorry in Austria. Another migrant ship also sank off Libya. With such tragedies occurring daily, the migrant crisis in Europe is ever-deepening. Tens of thousands of people have attempted the journey across the Mediterranean this year, often packed into vessels that were never designed to travel such distance.

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Swedish ship delivers migrants, 52 bodies to Palermo

Friday, August 28, 2015 - 01:17