Death toll from migrant shipwreck in southern Italy rises to 58

A wooden sailing boat carrying migrants crashed against rocks on the southern Italian coast early on Sunday, killing fifty-eight persons, including some children, according to authorities.

The boat carrying refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, and other nations had left Turkey a few days prior when it capsized in a storm close to Steccato di Cutro, a seaside resort on Calabria’s eastern coast.

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According to Manuela Curra, a representative of the provincial administration, the preliminary death toll was 58. She said there were 81 survivors, 20 hospitalized, including one in critical care.

One survivor was detained on suspicion of trafficking in migrants, according to the Guardia di Finanza customs officers.

Antonio Ceraso, the mayor of Cutro, claimed that women and children were among the victims. The precise number of fatalities among minors was not yet known.

The SkyTG24 news channel heard Ceraso’s voice cracking as he described what he had witnessed as “a spectacle that you would never want to see in your life…a gruesome sight… that remains with you for all your life.”

A long length of the coastline was covered in the wreckage from the wooden Turkish sailing boat known as a gulet.

According to Curra, the ship departed Izmir in eastern Turkey three or four days ago, and he added that survivors claimed there were between 140 and 150 people on board.

The survivors were mostly from Afghanistan, as well as a few from Pakistan and a couple from Somalia, she said, adding that identifying the nationalities of the dead was harder.

“Many of these migrants came from Afghanistan and Iran, fleeing conditions of great hardship”, Italian president Sergio Mattarella said.

ANSA and other Italian news sources initially reported finding 27 bodies on the beach and more in the water.

Few of the minors thought to have been on the boat survived, according to Ignazio Mangione, an Italian Red Cross official, who spoke to SkyTG24.

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