UN to probe reports hundreds drowned in Mediterranean
April 20, Athens: The United Nations has sent a team to Greece to investigate reports that hundreds of people may have drowned in the Mediterranean when a boat capsized.
Witnesses and survivors said that a vessel carrying refugees and economic migrants sank on Monday, describing how they watched its passengers being swallowed by the sea, Al Jazeera reported.
Several unconfirmed reports and witness statements said that the number of dead could be 400 to 500.
The probe was announced by Ariane Rummery, UN refugee agency (UNHCR) spokeswoman, late on Tuesday. No government, navy, NGO or UN agency has been able to corroborate the witness accounts.
The UNHCR team was sent to Kalamata, where the local port authority has confirmed the rescue of 41 people from a wooden boat.
One of the survivors, Somali refugee Muhidin Ali Waash, said that the ship's passengers rushed to one side of the vessel and "it lost balance".
The Oslo Times