12:38 09 October 2013
The captain of the migrant boat that sank last Thursday off the coast of Lampedusa has been formally arrested and is now facing multiple charges including murders, aiding clandestine immigration, and causing a shipwreck.
Bensalem Khaled, from the town of Sfax, was transferred to the prison in Agrigento in Sicily as the process begins.
On Tuesday, another 18 bodies were recovered from within the ship’s hold bringing the total death toll to 250. Coast Guard Commander Filippo Martin said that there were just 155 migrants who survived the shipwreck leaving at least 90 people unaccounted for. Survivors said that there were some 500 people on board when the ship sank in sight of land.
Most of those who died are women. So far, the bodies of 75 women were recovered and seven of the dead are children. There were only six females who survived the tragedy.
Meanwhile, it was confirmed that EU’s executive will convene on Tuesday to push for extra resources to launch sea patrols in order to deal with the flood of refugees coming to Europe after the Lampedusa tragedy.
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