A migrant boat caught fire and capsized off the coast of the Italian island Lampedusa on Thursday night, leaving at least 111 people dead and 200 missing. There were 155 survivors rescued.
Divers were still searching for bodies Friday at the site of the maritime accident, about half a mile off shore. The boat was crossing the Mediterranean from Africa carrying up to 500 people, mostly Eritrean and Somali migrants.
“Two motorboats remained in the area overnight and this morning divers resumed work but we expect to recover more than a hundred bodies from the ship,” a coastguard official, Floriana Segreto, said.
Deputy Prime Minister Angelino Alfano said it’s believed that the boat’s motor stopped working, which led to water entering the vessel. Passengers on the boat burned a sheet to try and attract rescuers.
“Once the fire started, there was a concern about the boat sinking and everyone moved to one side, causing the boat to go down,” he said.