Written by 6:56 pm European Union

Child dies after migrant boat overturns off Italian island

A 2-year-old girl died hours after being rescued by the Italian coast guard on Sunday along with dozens of other migrants after their boat capsized near the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, Italian news reports said.

The child was in critical condition and was rushed to a clinic on the island, where she died, the ANSA news agency said. The girl had been traveling with her mother.

The coast guard station on Lampedusa said it didn’t immediately have details about the rescue.

ANSA reported the boat overturned about 10 nautical miles south of Lampedusa, which is closer to North Africa than mainland Italy. The news agency said 43 migrants were rescued, all from northern Africa. Three people were treated for injuries at the clinic.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the boat to overturn.

Tens of thousands of people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa try to make their way into the European Union each year via perilous sea journeys.

The vast majority head to eastern Greek islands from the nearby Turkish coast in small inflatable dinghies, or attempt to cross directly to Italy from north Africa and Turkey in larger vessels. Lampedusa is often the destination of choice for Libyan-based migrant smugglers.

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Follow AP’s coverage of global migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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