Italy Pulls 32 More Bodies From Shipwreck

Brings death toll to 143 in sinking of boat off Lampedusa
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 6, 2013 11:19 AM CDT
Italy Pulls 32 More Bodies From Shipwreck
Teddy bears and flowers sit on coffins of the dead migrants inside a hangar of Lampedusa's airport, Italy, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. A ship carrying African migrants towards Italy sank Thursday after a fire was set onboard to attract attention of any passing boats or people on shore when they ran into...   (Luca Bruno)

(Newser) – Italian divers today recovered 32 more bodies of migrants who died when a fishing boat with some 500 people onboard sank within sight of the tiny island of Lampedusa. Italy's integration minister, Cecile Kyenge, watched as soldiers transferred body bags from boats and onto trucks to be brought to the makeshift morgue. There the survivors of the tragedy were bidding farewell to the other 111 deceased fellow travelers who were recovered from the sea on Thursday. Their coffins stood in three lines at the island's airport, each with a single red rose save for four white caskets for children topped with a teddy bear.

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The divers went back into the sea today to look for some of the 200 people still missing, following a two-day suspension caused by bad weather. The latest recovery brought to 143 the number of people confirmed dead. A police spokesman said that the search would continue "as long as the sea is calm and there is light." Survivors told rescuers they were in the sea for three hours; many clung to empty water bottles to stay afloat and some were too weak to grab lifesavers thrown to them. They have told authorities that a boat with lights had circled them but did not communicate or offer assistance. (Read more Lampedusa stories.)

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