At least 25 migrants die after being picked up at sea

By REUTERS
February 9, 2015 17:49

 
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ROME - At least 25 migrants died of hypothermia aboard Italian coast guard vessels after being picked up from an inflatable boat adrift near Libya, the chief health official on the Italian island of Lampedusa said on Monday.

Two Italian patrol boats picked up 105 migrants late on Sunday from the boat drifting in extreme sea conditions, with waves as high as 8 metres (26 feet) and temperatures just a few degrees above zero, the coast guard said in a statement.

The migrants then spent around 18 hours on the decks of the small patrol boats taking them to Lampedusa, buffeted by high winds and spray, and at least 25 died en route of hypothermia, Pietro Bartolo, the chief healthcare official on the island, told Reuters.

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