ROME – The U.N. migration agency says four survivors have recounted how some 126 fellow migrants drowned off Libya last week when their dinghy foundered.
Flavio Di Giacomo of the International Organization for Migration says the survivors were interviewed in Sicily after an Italian Coast Guard ship brought them to shore in Palermo Monday.
The Sudanese and Nigerian survivors told authorities that a few hours after the migrant smugglers’ rubber dinghy set off from Libyan shores Thursday night, the crew removed the engine and left in another boat. The boat quickly foundered. The survivors said some 130 people, most of them Sudanese, had been aboard.
A passing Libyan fishing vessel rescued the four survivors and put them on another boat of smuggled migrants. That boat was later rescued and its passengers transferred to a coast guard vessel.