Europe migrant crisis: Hundreds feared dead after boat capsizes in Mediterranean sea

About five hundred migrants are feared to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea after their boat capsized.

The The survivors, from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Egypt said they were traveling from Libya to Italy.

According to the group, about 240 migrants left the Libyan port city of Tobruk heading for Italy.
Muaz from Ethiopia insisted that about 500 other migrants died when their boat capsized. He said:
My wife and my baby drowned in front of me,". "I was one of the few who managed to swim back to the smaller boat,"
Abdul Kadir, a Somali said:
Two-hundred-and-forty of us set off from Libya but then the traffickers made us get on to a bigger wooden boat around 30m in length that already had at least 300 people in it,"
The survivors were then picked up by a cargo ship, whose crew told the BBC that the migrants initially refused to be handed over to the Greek coastguard as they were determined to get to Italy.

The president of Somalia offered his condolence over the incident. The Somali embassy in Cairo put the death toll at almost 400.

But the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has cast doubt, tweeting that the information that hundreds of migrants had died appeared "inaccurate". 

The fact that the boat capsized at night in open sea may well have contributed to the lack of clear information available, correspondents say.

Data as of November 2015

1 million
Refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe via illegal routes

Proportion of migrants who are from Syria

Syrian refugees being housed in Lebanon – a country 100 times smaller than Europe

One in five
Proportion of people in Lebanon who are refugees

1 in 122
According to the head of the UN refugee agency, one in 122 people is a refugee

1.2 %
Proportion of migrants who land in Italy and Greece, then get as far as Calais

Illegal migrants were stopped from entering Britain by UK Border Force officials in 2015

15 %
Proportion of female refugees from Syria who are pregnant in Turkey

Source: BBC

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