Migrant Boat With More Than 200 People Sinks South of Lampedusa

A migrant boat carrying more than 200 people sank south of Lampedusa, Italy, the second such tragedy in the area this month.

Dead bodies were spotted about 60 to 70 miles off the island by the Italian Navy when helicopters arrived to drop flotation devices for the survivors, Enrico Pacioni, a spokesman for the Navy, said today by telephone. A naval vessel arrived at the site and was pulling survivors from the water and a second ship was on its way, he said.

The island of Lampedusa, about halfway between Sicily and the Tunisian coast, is a common destination for undocumented migrants seeking entry into the European Union. Last week, at least 310 people died after their ship capsized on its way to Lampedusa, a tragedy that was memorialized by an Oct. 9 visit to the island by Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Rescue efforts are still under way and a count of survivors and deaths can’t be made until they are completed, Pacioni said. The boat’s destination is thought to have been Lampedusa, while its point of departure was unknown, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in New York at afrye@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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