August 12, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Shipwreck in Mediterranean Sea: Pregnant woman dies and 22 missing, according to MSF

Shipwreck in Mediterranean Sea: Pregnant woman dies and 22 missing, according to MSF

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced on Tuesday that a pregnant woman died and at least 22 people, including children, were missing in a shipwreck in the Central Mediterranean.

The humanitarian NGO was able to rescue 71 people, including a four-month-old baby, through its ambulance Geo Barents in the shipwreck off the Libyan coast on Monday.

“Yesterday we had our worst nightmare,” team leader Ricardo Gatti said in a statement.

The makeshift boat sank and many were in the water when Geo Barents arrived at the scene.

A pregnant woman was taken aboard the boat, but MSF said she survived despite desperate efforts to rescue her.

At least 22 people are still missing, according to information gathered from survivors.

Two women said they lost their children at sea and another young woman lost her brother.

One baby was resuscitated on board, including his mother, before moving to Malta in a medical emergency, while the rest were in Geo Barents.

“Survivors are tired, many have taken large amounts of seawater and many are suffering from hypothermia after spending many hours in the water,” said Stephanie Hofsteater, head of the MSF medical team on board.

“At least 10 people, mostly women, have had moderate to severe fuel burns and need further care.”

Crossing the Mediterranean is considered one of the most dangerous in the world for immigrants, who set out there in makeshift boats.

According to the Italian Interior Ministry, about 27,000 people have arrived in Italy by sea from the coasts of North Africa since the beginning of the year, compared to just 20,000 in 2021.

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