At least 63 people died after a boat carrying migrants wrecked off the coast of Steccato di Cutro, Italy, in the early hours of Sunday, February 26, Italian news agency ANSA reported.
Rescuers with Italy’s national fire and rescue service, Vigili del Fuoco, combed the beach and waters of the coast of Steccato di Cutro to search for the remaining missing people on Tuesday.
An alleged people smuggler has been arrested, according to local reports.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed her “deep sorrow” at the incident in a statement on Sunday, saying: “It is criminal to put a boat that is only 20 meters long with 200 people on board and with adverse weather forecasts. It is inhumane to exchange the lives of men, women and children for the price of the ‘ticket’ they paid in the false perspective of a safe journey.”
According to a local media report, the boat was spotted on Saturday by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known as Frontex, but a rescue was not possible at the time due to rough sea conditions. Credit: Vigili del Fuoco via Storyful