At least 43 migrants, including a small baby, have died after a storm struck off the coast of Italy.

At least 43 migrants, including a baby, died when their wooden boat broke apart in a storm off the coast of Italy.

The overloaded vessel was destroyed when it hit rocky reefs on Sunday, with children among the casualties.


More than 40 migrants died when their overloaded boat broke apart

The Coast Guard has confirmed that 43 bodies have been recovered along the coast so far.

Among the dead was a baby just a few months old, reports the Italian news agency AGI.

About 80 survivors have been pulled from the water.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said the migrants were crammed into a 66-foot boat in rough weather.

A piece of the boat, along with piles of broken wood, littered the beach at Steccato di Cutro, part of the Calabrian coastline along the Ionian.

Some of the survivors tried to keep warm, wrapped in colorful blankets or sheets.

A helicopter and motorboats were deployed in search efforts, including boats from state firefighters and border police.

A Coast Guard motor boat rescued two men suffering from hypothermia and recovered the body of a boy in rough seas, it said in a statement.

Fireboats, including rescue divers, recovered 28 bodies, three of which were pulled by strong currents far from the wreckage.

Meloni said: “It is inhumane to exchange the lives of men, women and children for the price of a ticket they pay with the false prospect of a safe journey.”

Pope Francis said he is praying for all those caught up in a migrant shipwreck.

In his weekly address to crowds in St Peter’s Square he said: “I was saddened to hear of the shipwreck off Calabria near Crotona.

“40 dead have already been recovered, many of them children.

“I pray for each of them, for the missing person and for the other surviving migrant.”

It is not clear where the boat had started from, but migrant boats arriving in Calabria usually depart from Turkish or Egyptian shores.

Many of these vessels, including sailboats, often reach remote parts of Italy’s long southern coastline without the help of the coastguard or humanitarian rescue boats.


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