Italy: Up to 700 could have died in 2015 migrant disaster

2016-07-15 08:41
The migrant ship that sank off Sicily with an estimated 800 people on board being recovered by the Italian Navy. (Italian Navy handout photo via AP)

The migrant ship that sank off Sicily with an estimated 800 people on board being recovered by the Italian Navy. (Italian Navy handout photo via AP)

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Syracuse - Italian navy officials say that the death toll from the April 2015 migrant shipwreck could be close to the original 700 estimate.

Admiral Nicola de Felice told The Associated Press on Thursday that forensic experts have gathered human remains in 458 body bags from the vessel retrieved this summer from the Mediterranean Sea floor, in addition to the 217 bodies recovered previously.

It will take months to identify the poorly preserved remains, but de Felice said "the number of victims is likely to be higher" than the 675 total of body bags plus cadavers. Officials had lowered the estimate to 500 after the boat's recovery, extrapolating from the number of bodies found.

Survivors of the April 18, 2015 wreck estimated the boat carried 700-800 people. Only 28 survived.

Read more on:    italy  |  migrants
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