Italy close to raising migrant disaster ship

2016-04-19 07:41
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. (Andreas Solaro, AFP)

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. (Andreas Solaro, AFP)

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Rome - Italy's navy said on Monday that work to salvage a sunken trawler filled with the corpses of migrants was progressing, but that the wreck would not be brought to port before next month.

In a statement on the first anniversary of a disaster in which up to 800 migrants are feared to have perished, the navy said the salvage operation was behind schedule because of poor sea conditions in the area off Libya where the boat went down on the night of April 18-19 2015.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has vowed to give every one of the victims a decent burial.

Only 28 people survived the disaster, which occurred after the overcrowded trawler collided with a large cargo ship that had gone to help it.

The sinking is thought to have been the deadliest of the current migrant crisis and the worst to have occurred in the Mediterranean in decades.

The boat sank to a depth of 380m. Italian divers have recovered 169 bodies from around it and seen hundreds more trapped inside.

Once raised, the boat is to be towed to the port of Augusta in Sicily, where attempts will be made to identify the victims from any documents not destroyed by the water and with the help of DNA experts.

Read more on:    italy  |  libya  |  migrants

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