Lampedusa disaster: Death toll hits 250 as Italian divers recover more bodies


The death toll from the Lampedusa disaster has hit 250 after Italian divers recovered more bodies from the wreck of the smugglers' ship that sank off the tiny island's coast.

Coast guard commander Filippo Marini said a further 18 bodies were recovered from within the ship's hold this morning, while one was spotted by a helicopter floating near the wreck.

Mr Marini said the search would continue as long as the weather allows. Just 155 migrants, most if not all from Eritrea, survived last Thursday's shipwreck.

Survivors said there were some 500 people on board when the ship capsized and sank in sight of land.

A disproportionate number of the dead are women: so far the bodies of 75 women have been recovered, while only six of the survivors were female. Seven of the dead are children.