Spanish minister urges action after more migrant deaths in Mediterranean

Rome, Nov 12 (efe-epa).- Spain’s equality minister on Thursday called for legal and safe migrant routes to be established in the Mediterranean after an NGO rescue vessel sounded the alarm over a series of deadly shipwrecks in the region.

Irene Montero was reacting to rescue footage shared on social media by the Spanish NGO Open Arms, which showed a recently-rescued mother crying out for her baby.

“It’s necessary that we listen to this heartbreaking cry and feel its pain. We are obliged to stop this human drama on Europe’s coasts,” Montero wrote.

Open Arms was called to the site of the capsize on Wednesday morning and later named the six-month baby who died as Joseph, originally from Guinea, in West Africa.

NGO workers managed to revive Joseph after he was transferred to the rescue but died before he could be evacuated.

The migrant dinghy that capsized is thought to have left Libya.

At least five other people died after it capsized, the organization said.

“Despite the enormous effort from the Open Arms medical team, a six-month-old baby has just died as a result of the shipwreck… So much anger and pain,” Open Arms said on Twitter.

Italian helicopters later evacuated two women from the Open Arms vessel, one of whom was pregnant, as well as Joseph’s body and his mother.

Open Arms is now navigating the Mediterranean Sea with over 260 people on board.

The European Union’s coast guard agency Frontex alerted Open Arms to the site of the capsized dinghy on Wednesday. The NGO arrived after hours of searching and managed to distribute life jackets.

The bottom of the dinghy then split, sending hundreds of people into the open sea.

Open Arms pulled 111 people onto the rescue vessel and recovered five bodies, it said.

It was the second shipwreck that Open Arms had attended in 24 hours.

At least 13 people died in a separate capsizing on Tuesday, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Open Arms is the only humanitarian rescue vessel active in the Mediterranean region. EFE-EPA


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