At least 58 migrants killed in shipwreck off Italy
At least 58 migrants, including a baby, have died and dozens more have survived after their overloaded boat sank in rough seas off southern Italy.
The vessel reportedly broke apart while trying to land with about 150 people aboard near the coastal town of Crotone in the Calabria region.
Many bodies have been recovered from the beach at a nearby seaside resort.
Large numbers of people fleeing conflict and poverty make the crossing from Africa to Italy each year.
Local officials put the confirmed death toll in the latest tragedy to strike the central Mediterranean at either 58 or 59.
Earlier the coastguard said 80 people had been recovered alive, “including some who managed to reach the shore after the sinking”.
Manuela Curra, a local government official, told Reuters news agency that the boat had left the Turkish coastal city of Izmir three or four days ago.
Those onboard were mainly from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Iran, according to Italian officials, and President Sergio Mattarella said many were fleeing “very difficult conditions”.
One survivor was arrested on migrant trafficking charges, customs police said.
The vessel is reported to have sunk after it crashed against rocks during rough weather, sparking a large search-and-rescue operation on land and at sea.
Video footage shows timber from the wreckage that has been smashed into pieces washing up on the beach, along with parts of the hull.
Survivors are seen huddled under blankets, attended to by Red Cross workers. Some have been taken to hospital.