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Migrants in Mediterranean rescue drama

Thursday, August 06, 2015 - 00:48

Many are feared dead after a boat packed with hundreds of migrants capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION A boat packed with up to 700 migrants capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya on Wednesday (August 5) and many were feared dead, officials and aid agencies said. The Italian Coast Guard and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said about 400 people had been rescued and 25 bodies had been recovered so far, although it was still not clear exactly how many people were on board. UNHCR chief spokesperson Melissa Fleming said the fishing boat that capsized was carrying way beyond its capacity. "These are boats that should only have about 30 or 40 or 50 on board, not 600. So obviously the people were stuffed down into the hull. Shoulder to shoulder, feet to feet in every nook and cranny," said Fleming. Overloaded boats carrying migrants often turn over due to sudden movements by the desperate passengers when they spot rescuers arriving. The Mediterranean Sea has become the world's most deadly border area for migrants. More than 2,000 migrants and refugees have died so far this year in attempts to reach Europe by boat, compared with 3,279 deaths during the whole of last year, the International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday (August 4).

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Migrants in Mediterranean rescue drama

Thursday, August 06, 2015 - 00:48