Italy releases video of tragic drowning of five migrants

Italian authorities issue video showing a dinghy deflating after hitting a tanker and throwing asylum seekers into panic, with five of the migrants drowning


The Italian police have released shocking footage showing migrants in a state of panic after the dinghy they were on was punctured after incidentally hitting a tanker’s gangway.

Yesterday, an Italian magistrate absolved the Armed Forces of Malta from any fault over the death of five asylum seekers during the incident.

Italian media reported that during a rescue operation involving an AFM vessel and a Maltese-registered tanker, five migrants lost their lives after the patrol boat unexpectedly sailed away, claiming that it was called for another rescue operation.

Upon reaching Sicily, the captain of the Maltese-registered Norient Star complained to the Italian authorities that the AFM members threw life jackets at sea before leaving the scene to reach another boat, which required assistance.

Yet, an Italian magistrate who carried out an inquiry concluded that the AFM vessel was not connected to the deaths.

The AFM confirmed that the reports in the Italian media were incorrect and explained that the MV Norient Star later reported to the Rescue and Coordination centre in Malta that during the transfer of migrants, the dinghy hit the gangway of the ship and deflated.

"It is crucial to note that had the patrol boat remained with the MV Norient Star and not intervened in the other dinghy the loss of lives would have been potentially of 128 persons," the army's statement added.