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Tragically, 500 more refugees drowned in the Mediterranean Sea

unhcr italy

The UNHCR is active in Italy. (federico.ricci/Flickr)

Have you heard this yet? Up to 500 refugees drowned the other day in the Mediterranean Sea, in an attempt to get to Italy from Libya.

Five. Hundred. People.

Eerily, the shipwreck happened on the anniversary of a wreck in which over 800 refugees drowned on the very same route.

And of course, thousands of others have met the same sad fate.

Survivors of this latest tragedy were rescued on April 16th by a cargo ship after spending several days in the water. The boat had been overcrowded with people fleeing from Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan. Only 41 people were rescued.

The UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency, released a statement recounting the sinking:

"After several hours at sea, the smugglers in charge of the boat attempted to transfer the passengers to a larger ship carrying hundreds of people in terribly overcrowded conditions. At one point during the transfer, the larger boat capsized and sank."

The survivors were people who had not yet crossed over to the larger boat. They drifted at sea on the smaller vessel.

The UNHCR estimates 761 refugees have died or been missing on their journey.

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Tragically, 500 more refugees drowned in the Mediterranean Sea

Anugya Chitransh

Anugya is originally from New Delhi, India. She studied journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York, graduating with a master's in international reporting. She plans to travel one day to all the places she reads about. She likes reading fiction, pop music, and going to the beach, but absolutely hates anyone mangling or shortening her name (which is quite common). She binge watches Korean dramas and anime series. She's a freelance writer and has produced content that has appeared in NBC, The Times of India, Time Out Delhi, and other publications.

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