At least 41 migrants, most of whom are from African countries, have reportedly died in a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Four survivors of the shipwreck told rescuers and local media that they were on a boat carrying 45 people, including three children, that had set off from Sfax in Tunisia and sunk on its way to Italy, BBC reports.
The four survivors – three men and a woman, who are from the Ivory Coast and Guinea, were said to have reached Lampedusa on Wednesday.
They said the boat, which was about 7m (20ft) long, left Sfax on Thursday last week but sank within hours after being hit by a big wave. It was gathered that only 15 people wore life vests in the boat.
They further said that they were rescued by a cargo ship and then transferred to an Italian coast guard vessel.
The Italian coast guard reported two shipwrecks in the area on Sunday, but it is not clear whether this vessel is one of those.
More than 1,800 people have lost their lives so far this year in the crossing from North Africa to Europe.
Tunisian authorities have reportedly said that Sfax, a port city about 80 miles (130km) from Lampedusa, is a popular gateway for migrants seeking safety and a better life in Europe.
It has been reported that recently, Italian patrol boats and charity groups have rescued another 2,000 people who have arrived on Lampedusa.
Source: Sahara reporter