Dienstag, 22. Juli 2014

Surviving castaways: On the totally overloaded boat 180 people died

On the website of Repubblica.it you can find a video of the first rescuing actions. Officials stated on Saturday that there were 30 dead migrants. But the rescued people reveal other horrible stories: They are talking about many more dead people, not just by drowning, but by stepped or beaten victims.
Repubblica.it: 30 migrants died - including a one year old child - during the passage to Lampedusa, just 65 miles away from the isle. Many of them were trapped in the freight hold, stepped by knives of the other people on board. Throughout the reports of the refugees the tragedy was even worse. “ On the ship there were 750, but we saved just 569 of us. The other 181 died when we were getting closer to the Danish merchant vessel that later saved many of us. There were so many children drowning.”
So these are the latest, tragic news of the massacres near the Straits of Sicily which we got to know just by the surviving Pakistani, Syrians, Nigerians,Ghanaian who told us their side of the story. “Many of the found dead were trapped in the ship because when the saving started people on the deck tried to hold the others back with the help of knives to secure their own surviving and the surviving of their children. Every inch of the boat was occupied, we were put in their like beasts, within all those people so many young children like my one- year old son Mohammed.” The 40-year old Syrian who told us this lost his son Mohammed. While talking to us, he tries to hold his wife in his arms, who is not able to cry anymore and wants just to run away from her nightmares.

VIDEO of the shipwreck by the survivors

The corpse of Mohammed was swimming in the sea until the crew of the Danish merchant vessel Torm Lotte recovered it but other children drowned and their bodies couldn’t be recovered. On the videos made by some Syrians you can see a child falling into the water, losing its life jacket and sinking immediately. The parents of Mohammed are totally burned out, physically and emotionally. When they arrived at the Pascoli school in Messina, where hundreds of other desperate are accommodated, they escaped every control and started their journey again. “Where is the train station?” they ask, “We want to get far, far away from all that has happened. We escaped the war in Syria not because of us but especially because we wanted to give a future to our son. But Mohammed is not with us anymore. Everything was so senseless. But despite everything that happened to us, we want to try to build our live again.” So they did get on board of the ferry that brings them from Messina to Calabria. There, they have the intention to get on a train to Northern Italy and continue their journey to Sweden, where they have some relatives to take care of them.
But the dying in the Mediterranean Sea continues. Just yesterday the Italian Navy saved 61 migrants who were on a rubber boat. Up to now only five corpses could be found. The surviving refugees reported that there were more than 80 people on board.

VIDEO: The recovery of the corpses

Translation: Luisa Schilling