(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
The bodies of twenty-five refugees were found at the bottom of a dinghy that was transporting refugees across the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy on Wednesday.
The refugees died after being suffocated by the fuel exhaust of their overcrowded boat which was carrying over 130 passengers, according to a statement released by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
Sea-Watch also assisted in the rescue operation, and in a different mission, Sea-Watch recovered the body of another dead refugee.
MSF said the dinghy was just over 40 kilometers off the Libyan coast when found it and spent around three hours trying to untrap the bodies of 11 refugees soaked in seawater and fuel.
The Bourbon Argos, MSF’s rescue ship, is expected to arrive with the 246 rescued refugees and the 11 bodies to the southern Italian port Reggio Calabria by Thursday.
In a nearby area, 139 refugees were rescued in another mission by MSF.
Of the rescue missions carried on Tuesday, which saved a total of 500 refugees, 23 refugees had burns from chemicals, said MSF. In addition, seven injured refugees in need of immediate medical attention were evacuated to Italy by helicopter.
Medical staff among the rescue teams intubated a young women to stabilize her before evacuation.
MSF Tweeted, “Sea rescue operations are becoming a race through a maritime graveyard and our rescue boats powerless to stop the loss of life.”