Pope mourns 41 migrants killed in boat accident off Italy

Pope Francis has commemorated the 41 people who were killed in the latest migrant boat accident in the Mediterranean Sea off the Italian island of Lampedusa.

“Let us not remain indifferent to these tragedies, and let us pray for the victims and their families,” the pope wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

The boat had set sail from the Tunisian coastal town of Sfax in the direction of Italy and capsized when a large wave struck off Lampedusa.

Italian News Agency ANSA reported on Wednesday that at least 41 people were killed in the accident, citing survivor accounts.

A total of 45 people, including three children, were said to have been on the metal boat.

Three men and one woman were rescued by a Maltese cargo ship and brought to Lampedusa by the Italian coastguard.

The island is located just less than 190 kilometres from Sfax.

Neither the freighter nor the coastguard found any bodies in the water, according to ANSA. This could be due to the fact that the survivors were rescued far from the site of the accident.

Following the shipwreck, religious organisations, including the Rome-based Community of Sant’Egidio, which is dedicated to social service, renewed calls to create safe ways for migrants and refugees to reach Europe.

“We need to break out of our torpor and invest resources in rescuing vulnerable people,” the organisation said in a statement.


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