Dozens of African migrants have reportedly drowned after a boat carrying 400 people capsized in the Mediterranean Sea reported the Daily Mail.Most of the 400 migrants aboard the boat were fleeing from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea and had been hoping to reach Italy.
Somali media reports say that rescue workers have only managed to save 29 passengers from the waters after the shocking incident.
Over 400 migrants are thought to have drowned, the Somali ambassador in Egypt told BBC Arabic.
Social media users have claimed that the boat had started its journey in Egypt with Italy being its intended destination, a route favored by many smugglers.
Photographs of a handwritten list of victims’ names have been uploaded on to social media by several Somali speaking users.
Earlier in the month Reuters reported that Italy’s coast guard had rescued more than 300 migrants from a packed boat in which they had traveled hundreds of kilometers (miles) from Egypt to the Strait of Sicily.
People fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East have been arriving in southern Italian waters for years, usually from Libya, where they pay smugglers for the passage.
A spokeswoman for the Italian coast guard said migrants had arrived from Egypt in the past, but much less frequently than from Libya, which is about half as far away by boat.
Italy’s coast guard and a Spanish aircraft working for European Union border agency Frontex went on Wednesday to the aid of the boat, rescuing 156 men, 51 women and 107 minors.
The migrants were from Syria, Egypt, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Palestinian territory, Libya, Sudan and the Comoros Islands, the coast guard said in a statement.
A massive influx of boat migrants that began last year has been mainly channeled from Turkey to the Greek islands, prompting the EU to strike a deal with Ankara to send back newcomers.
The rescued migrants were due to arrive in the southern Italian port of Crotone, about 770 nautical miles from the coast of northern Egypt.