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At least 11 dead and 64 missing after two shipwrecks off Italy’s southern coast

At least 11 dead and 64 missing after two shipwrecks off Italy’s southern coast

Rome: Sixty-four people were missing in the Mediterranean Sea and several were rescued after their ship sank off the southern coast of Italy on Monday, United Nations agencies said in a statement.

In a separate shipwreck, rescuers evacuated dozens of suspected migrants but found 10 bodies trapped under the deck of a wooden boat off the small Italian island of Lampedusa, German aid group Resqship wrote on social media platform X on Monday.

The boat that sank about 125 miles (200 kilometers) off the coast of Calabria had left Turkey eight days earlier but caught fire and overturned, the U.N. agencies said, citing survivors.

The search and rescue operation began after a distress call from a French boat, the Italian coast guard said in a statement. The boat sailed into a border area where Greece and Italy are conducting search and rescue operations. The survivors and people still missing at sea came from Iran, Syria and Iraq, the UN agencies said.

The Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Center immediately diverted two merchant ships sailing nearby to the scene of the rescue. Resources from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex also helped.

The survivors were taken to the Calabrian port of Roccella Jonica, where they were disembarked and entrusted to the care of medical personnel. One of the 11 migrants rescued died shortly afterwards, the Coast Guard said.

In the second shipwreck, the crew aboard Resqship’s boat, the Nadir, found 61 people on the wooden boat, which was full of water.

“Our crews were able to evacuate 51 people, two of whom were unconscious,” it added. “The ten dead were on the flooded lower deck of the boat.”