Greek Government cannot verify NGO claims of approx 700 passengers

Sea Tragedy

According to the spokesperson for Greece's caretaker government, Ilias Siakantaris, the Greek authorities cannot verify the claims that a fishing vessel that sunk off Greece en route from Libya to Italy had onboard approximately 700-750 individuals. Siakantaris made this statement during an interview with state broadcaster ERT.

Charity Alarm Phone, which operates a trans-European network supporting rescue operations, said it received alerts from people on board a ship in distress off Greece late on Tuesday, saying 750 people were on board.

So far, 79 people have drowned, and 104 have been rescued.

Greek authorities have released an aerial photograph of the vessel, showing scores of people covering all areas of the entire deck.

Media reports said the fishing boat had been at sea for at least two days.

Over a hundred passengers have been rescued following the incident, which came just after EU states emerged from tough negotiations about immigration and asylum in the bloc.

Greek authorities in the past have been accused of pushing back refugee boats and denying safe access to asylum procedures.

Athens has declared a three-day mourning period, as hundreds of people were believed to have died in the deepest waters where the Mediterranean meets the Ionian Sea.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024