ROME - The bodies of 21 women and one man were found on a rubber dinghy adrift in the central Mediterranean on Wednesday, humanitarian group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said.
An MSF ship patrolling the Mediterranean came across two dinghies in distress and rescued 209 people, including 50 children. The 22 bodies were retrieved from one of the dinghies.
"When our team approached the first dinghy, they saw dead bodies lying at the bottom of the boat in a pool of fuel," Jens Pagotto, MSF Head of Mission for Search and Rescue Operations, said in a statement.
"The survivors had been on the boat with the bodies of these women for hours on end. Many are too traumatized from what they have endured to be able to talk about what had happened. It's still unclear exactly how these women died."