LAMPEDUSA, Italy: Italian divers Sunday recovered 49 more bodies of migrants who died when a boat with some 500 people sank within sight of the island of Lampedusa.
Italy’s integration minister, Congolese-born Cecile Kyenge, watched as soldiers transferred body bags from boats and onto trucks to be brought to the makeshift morgue. There the survivors of the tragedy were bidding farewell to the other 111 deceased fellow travelers who were recovered from the sea Thursday. Their coffins stood in three lines at the island’s airport, each with a single red rose save for four white caskets for children topped with a teddy bear.
The divers went back into the sea Sunday to look for some of the 200 people still missing, following a two-day suspension caused by bad weather. The latest recovery brought the number of people confirmed dead to 160.
Financial police Maj. Leonardo Ricci said that the search would continue “as long as the sea is calm and there is light.”
Survivors of Thursday’s tragedy have told authorities that a boat with lights had circled them but did not communicate or offer assistance. A Dutch lawmaker has called for an investigation into reports that a boat did not help the stranded migrants. There is no evidence that people on that boat knew that the vessel was in distress.