Migrants crushed on cramped boat

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The Independent Online

Twenty-five African migrants trying to reach Italy from Libya died in the hold of a rickety boat so packed with people that the migrants could not get out as they struggled to breathe, officials said yesterday after the bodies were found below decks.

The 50ft (15-metre) boat was carrying 296 people, including women and children, said Coast Guard Captain Antonio Morana. Some of them were stowed away in the hold, which also served as an engine room, according to the Ansa news agency. At least some of the migrants may have died from asphyxiation.