The UN’s migration agency announced Sunday that at least 30 migrants are missing after two shipwrecks off the Italian island of Lampedusa, based on the accounts of survivors.
According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), around 28 individuals were reported lost at sea by survivors on one boat, while three were reported missing from the other after both went down in harsh weather on Saturday.
Both were rickety iron boats that set sail from Sfax, Tunisia, on Thursday.
Press officer Flavio Di Giacomo stated that after speaking with the survivors, cultural mediators with the IOM thought at least 30 people missing.
Agrigento, on the nearby Italian island of Sicily, has launched an investigation into the shipwrecks.
Emanuele Ricifari, the chief of police in Agrigento, said the traffickers would have known rough waves were anticipated.
“Whoever allowed, or forced them, to leave with this sea is an unscrupulous criminal lunatic”, he told Italian media.
“Rough seas are expected over the next few days. Let’s hope they don’t continue. This sea is sending them to slaughter”, he explained.