Saturday, 5 October 2013

SAD PICS: 111 Coffins Of African Migrants Whose Dream Of A Better LifeEnded In Tragedy…In A Shipwreck Off The Italian Coast

Coffins of African migrants killed in a shipwreck off the Italian coast sit in a hangar at the Lampedusa airport
The scale of the tragedy of Lampedusa was made shockingly clear today as the coffins of the African migrants killed in the shipwreck were lined up inside an airport hangar where survivors of the tragedy paid their respects.

All of the caskets had a single white rose on top except for the four of the youngest victims, which had stuffed animals.
The 111 coffins were numbered - a teddy bear wearing a smile and a blue shirt with a heart was placed above casket No. 92.

All of the caskets had a single white rose on top except for the four of the youngest victims, which had stuffed animals







The ceremony took place hours after Italian fishermen threw a bouquet of yellow flowers near the exact spot where the migrant boat sank, honking their foghorns in tribute to the dead and up to 250 migrants who may still be missing.

The search to recover more bodies, meanwhile, was called off for a second day because of choppy waters and strong currents.

A parliamentary delegation visited the survivors amid reports that a boat may have violated the 'law of the sea' by failing to help the migrant ship packed with 500 migrants, nearly all from Eritrea, about 650 yards from shore.





The 65ft migrant boat sank on Thursday after a fire was set onboard to attract the attention from passing boats or people on shore.

So far, 111 bodies have been recovered and 155 survivors have been accounted for.

Humanitarian agencies say 41 of the survivors are minors between the ages of 11 and 17 - and all but one of them was unaccompanied by a parent. Survivors said they spent between two and four months in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, awaiting passage to Europe, much of that time spent confined.

The 111 coffins were numbered - a teddy bear wearing a smile and a blue shirt with a heart was placed above casket No. 92



A video released by the Italian 'Vigili del Fuoco' fire department shows the sunken boat resting on the bottom of the Mediterranean
More than 20 survivors attended a private ceremony in a hangar where caskets containing the bodies of those recovered were prepared. 

The surviving migrants asked the lawmakers to be allowed to identify the deceased, to repatriate their remains to Eritrea and to be moved to centers away from Lampedusa as soon as possible, Boldrini said. 

Local fishermen throw a wreath into the waters off Lamepdusa harbour near the site of the shipwreck where more than 100 African migrants drowned

Lampedusa's mayor said that identifications would be made through photographs.

At the refugee center, Awet, an Eritrean survivor who lost a friend in a shipwreck, told the AP he paid $1,600 to smugglers for the trip. He claimed the captain had a phone, but had thrown it into the sea.

Thousands make the perilous crossing from Africa each year, seeking a new life in the prosperous European Union


The plight of the 155 survivors of one of the worst disasters in Europe's immigration crisis meanwhile is putting a spotlight on the shortcomings of the centres that house newly-arrived migrants, and on the laws that are aimed at keeping them away.

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