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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

700 Refugees Drown in Mediterranean Sea

  • Amanda Casanova
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 May 31
  • Comments

About 700 migrants are estimated to have died in Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks over the span of three days last week.


According to The Chicago Tribune, children also died in the shipwrecks.


"When the morning came, I saw how the children were crying and the women," Habtom Tekle, a 27-year-old Eritrean, told the Associated Press. "At this point I only tried to pray. Everybody was trying to take the water out of boat."


In one shipwreck, a wooden boat without an engine being towed by another smugglers’ boat started sinking. 


"I started to cry when I saw the situation and when I found the ship without an engine. There were many women and children," said Filmon Selomon, a 21-year-old Eritrean. "Water was coming in from everywhere, top, bottom.


“For me, it was very shocking.”


Authorities said the boat had about 300 people below deck. They all died. Another 200 people plunged into the water, but only 90 were saved. 


About 500 people from the first boat were saved.


Most of the people on board were Eritrean, according to Save the Children.


About 100 people are missing in another shipwreck from Wednesday off the coast of Libya, and a third shipwreck happened Friday. In that wreck, 45 people died and it’s unclear how many more are missing.



Photo courtesy: Christian Aid Mission


Publication date: May 31, 2016