More than 40 migrants have died while 80 were rescued after their overloaded boat sank in rough seas in Italy’s Calabria region on Sunday, media reported.
The vessel sank after it rammed against rocks during rough weather, the Adnkronos news agency said.
The accident occurred when the vessel was trying to land with more than 100 people aboard near the coastal town of Crotone, BBC reported.
“Forty-three bodies have been found along the coastline,” the Coastguard said in a statement.
The ill-fated vessel had passengers onboard from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia, local news agencies reported.
The Italian authorities have launched a large search and rescue operation on land and at sea.
The migrants make the crossing from Africa to Italy each year to flee conflict and poverty.