A 2-year-old girl and hundreds of other migrants perished on Sunday after their boat capsized close to the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, according to Italian news sources, hours after being rescued by the Italian coast guard.
According to the ANSA news agency, the youngster was in severe condition when she was brought to a clinic on the island, where she later passed away. The girl and her mother had been on the road.
The coast guard station on Lampedusa stated that it did not have information regarding the rescue right away.
The boat capsized around 10 nautical miles south of Lampedusa, which is located nearer to North Africa than the Italian mainland. According to the news agency, all 43 rescued migrants were from northern Africa. Injuries to three patients were attended to in the clinic.
What turned the boat over was not immediately apparent.
Each year, tens of thousands of migrants risk their lives at sea in an attempt to enter the European Union as they flee war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
The great majority attempt to sail directly into Italy from north Africa and Turkey in larger vessels or travel to the adjoining Turkish coast in small inflatable dinghies to reach the eastern Greek islands. Many times, migrant smugglers operating out of Libya choose Lampedusa as their last destination.