Roughly a dozen dead in suspected Mediterranean migration accident

Roughly a dozen dead in suspected Mediterranean migration accident

Roughly a dozen suspected migrants have died during a failed travel attempt in Mediterranean waters on Monday, German aid group Resqship said.

The group wrote on X, formerly Twitter, Resqship crew were "caring" for 51 people evacuated off the boat. "The rescue came too late for 10 people,” according to the post.

"Two of whom were unconscious - they had to be cut free with an axe," the post continued.

The southern Italian island – close to North Africa – is a well known target destination for people-smuggling, with 127,000 migrants making landfall last year.

Meanwhile, the Italian coast guard searched for roughly 50 missing people from another vessel shipwrecked off the country's southern Calabrian coast.

The search and rescue mission commenced following a Mayday call by a French boat, sailing about 120 miles (193 kilometres) from Italian shores, the Italian coast guard said in a statement. The area is under jurisdiction of Greece and Italy, it added.

After reporting the presence of the half-sunken boat, rescuers recovered 12 migrants from the vessel, most likely travelling from Türkiye. The survivors were brought to the Calabrian port of Roccella Jonica, where they were disembarked and entrusted to the care of medical personnel.

One of the migrants died soon after, the coast guard said.

The Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (IMRCC) of the coast guard in Rome immediately diverted two merchant vessels sailing nearby to the scene of the rescue. Assets from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex also helped.