Up to 64 migrants died off the coast of Libya at the weekend when their flimsy boat sank, humanitarian groups said on Monday after talking with survivors evacuated to Italy.
Eighty six people were plucked from the stricken rubber dinghy on Saturday and eight bodies, all women, were recovered. However, the boat had been carrying 150 migrants, survivors said, with many of the dead vanishing beneath the waves.
“Among them there were many children who are believed to have drowned at sea,” said Doctors Without Borders Sea on Twitter. “Among the survivors was a three-year-old child who has lost her mother and arrived alone, and a family of 11 now a family of three,” it added.
The Italian coastguard said the migrants had been spotted on Saturday morning by a plane patrolling the seas on behalf of a European anti-smuggling operation. Rescuers believe their dinghy deflated following a puncture.