When the vessel sank, the Italian Coast Guard responded, saving 149 people, including 13 women and three children.

However, after the sinking numerous bodies were found, with the Coast Guard working to locate more. The operations had to stop for a few days due to difficult weather, but it continued during the weekend, with the team finding four more bodies under the surface and another one afloat.

Thousands of migrants try to cross the Mediterranean to Europe every year, often in poorly maintained and overcrowded vessels, with many dying during this effort.

The Lampedusa fatalities come to add to the list of about 1,150 migrants who have died so far in 2019, during their crossing to the Mediterranean. Most of them are on the Libya-to-Italy route.

To address this issue, France and Italy have urged for a new system to automatically redistribute migrants across the EU, considering that the number of people entering Europe via Italy and Greece is increasing.