18 Migrants Die of Suffocation Aboard African Boat to Italy
18 migrants have died, reportedly by suffocating, aboard a crowded boat travelling from North Africa to Italy carrying hundreds asylum-seekers on Saturday.
The migrants are said to have choked on fumes from an old engine while they were confined below deck, Italian news agency Ansa reports.
According to the BBC, the boat, with 600 people on board, was intercepted south of the island of Lampedusa, Italy's southernmost point after sending out an SOS signal.
Another person died while being rescued and two more have been evacuated by helicopter and taken to Palermo hospital in Sicily in a serious condition, international media reports said.