East Mediterranean, hundreds of migrants presumed dead
VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The international NGO Alarm Phone confirmed that “a tragic shipwreck took place off Pylos despite that the Greek, Italian and Maltese authorities were informed about the boat full of migrants in distress since Last a Tuesday”.
According to Alarm Phone the last contact with the migrants from as made just before it capsized during the early hours of last Wednesday.
104 migrants were rescued, while 79 people have so far been found drowned. However, the number of death migrants is expected to increase. It is still unclear how many migrants were onboard the boat, with numbers varies from 400 up to 750 people.
The number of missing and assumed drowned would be 567 people if there were 750 people onboard, that would put the total death toll to almost 650 people.
The boat was packed on the outside of the deck and with hundreds of people inside the boat packed like sardines. The rescued and the those who were found drowned are most likely the migrants who were outside the boat.
According to testimonies from survivors the boat was packed with people, outside and inside, inside was mainly women and children while the men was sitting outside. “If this information is correct, most of the survivors and drowned are men, since they were the ones sitting outside on the boat,” said Alarm Phone.
Pictures published after the people arrived in the port of Kalamate, support the theory that the survivors were mainly men, no women or children were seen in any of the published pictures.
The chance of finding people who were trapped inside the boat when it went down, would be extremely difficult because it is 5,000 meters below sea level.
All survivors were taken to the port in Kalamate, where approximately 30 people needed medical care and transported to the hospital, and will eventually be taken to the reception and identification center in Malakasa. Nationalities of the people onboard were reported to be from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and Egypt.
Greecès caretaker PM Ioannis Sarmas declared three days of mourning for the victims of one of the country’s deadliest shipwrecks involving refugees.
The European Agency Frontex confirmed that its surveillance aircraft detected the boat on Tuesday at 09:47 and immediately informed the competent authorities. It added that the agency is ready to support the Greek authorities in the ongoing SAR operation. “We are deeply moved by the tragic events that are unfolding off the coast of Greece. The search and rescue operation coordinated by Greek authorities is ongoing.”
In a statement, Alarm Phone urged all authorities to “Stop blaming people on the move for trying to escape your violence!
Stop blaming people on the move for their own death! Stop pushbacks, end death at sea, tear down Europès borders!”
– photo Aegean Boat Report –