By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor
Deeply shocking news has emerged that up to 500 people may have drowned in a failed attempt to enter Europe via the Mediterranean. However, there has been no official confirmation, which may never come.
Only 41 survivors were rescued and were moved to another ship, as it sank during the night.
Coastguards have been unable to confirm the survivors accounts, but the figure is astonishing.
In another incident, six bodies were recovered and 108 migrants rescued after a rubber dinghy sank off the coast of Libya, reported the organisation SOS Mediterranean.
This news comes as the numbers of migrants making the perilous journey from Libya to Italy has surged this year compared to the previous year. Around 6,000 made the journey alone over a three-day period last week, the International Organisation for Migration said.
The survivors are currently in the Greek city of Kalamata and they are from Ethiopia, Somalia, Egypt and Sudan
According to the group, about 240 migrants left the Libyan port city of Tobruk heading for Italy.
Muaz from Ethiopia said: “My wife and my baby drowned in front of me. I was one of the few who managed to swim back to the smaller boat.”
“Two hundred and forty of us set off from Libya but then the traffickers made us get on to a bigger wooden boat around 30m in length that already had at least 300 people in it,” said Abdul Kadir, a Somali.
In a cruel twist of fate these shocking deaths come on the anniversary of the sinking of a migrant boat, in which up to 800 hundred people died, in the treacherous waters between Libya and the Italian of Lampedusa.
The UN believes that 180,000 people have attempted to reach Europe by sea this year, with almost 800 lives lost.