Twenty-five refugees have died in a dinghy in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to make the journey to safety.
According to Independent UK News, the refugees were taken advantage of by people smugglers who crammed around 130 people into a small rubber dinghy before launching it off of Libya’s coast.
The boat was discovered by rescue workers with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) off the coast of Italy.
Those still alive were taken to safety, but the photos of those who had died are reportedly too graphic to publish.
The refugees are thought to have died from fuel poisoning. A MSF spokesperson said that 23 of those rescued had “horrific” chemical burns and others had to be evacuated for immediate medical treatment.
“It took us three hours to retrieve 11 bodies because the mixture of petrol and water is so potent that we just couldn’t risk being in that boat for long periods of time,” said Michele Telaro of the Mediterranean rescue organization Bourbon Argos. “It was horrific.”
Tragedies such as this one are increasingly common in the Mediterranean.
“The past weeks have been horrific with our rescue teams and other boats involved in almost continuous rescues and far too many men, women and children dying…our rescue teams are overwhelmed by a policy made crisis where we feel powerless to stop the loss of life,” testified Stefano Argenziano, the manager of migration operations for MSF.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: October 27, 2016
Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the outdoors, or reading, she can be found mostly in Richmond, VA writing primarily about nature, nostalgia, faith, family, and Jane Austen.