Italian navy finds migrant disaster boat

Rome - The Italian navy announced on Thursday it had located the sunken wreck of a migrant boat in which 700 people are feared to have died last month.

The boat was found 136km off the Libyan coast at a depth of 375m, the navy said in a statement.

Prosecutors in Sicily who are conducting a homicide investigation into the Mediterranean's worst maritime disaster in decades had asked the navy to find the boat and see whether it would be feasible to salvage it.

An estimated 750 people were on board the boat when it left Libya. Only 28 survived and only 24 bodies were recovered at the scene.

The survivors have recounted how most of the people being smuggled to Italy were locked in the hold or in a lower deck when the boat capsized and sunk following a collision with a merchant ship that had answered its distress call.

Two of the survivors, the Tunisian captain of the boat and a Syrian who allegedly served as crew, are being investigated for suspected culpable homicide, causing a shipwreck, encouraging illegal immigration and illegal confinement.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has vowed that, if at all feasible, the boat will be raised and the victims given decent burials.


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