At least 116 migrants, including pregnant women and children, are feared drowned while 132 others were rescued from the Mediterranean around 8km (5 miles) from the Libyan coastal city of Khoms, roughly 118 km (73 miles) east of Tripoli, on Thursday.
Sources including the UNHCR reported that the incident involved a single wooden boat that capsized with roughly 300 people on board, while a spokesperson for the Libyan coastguard reportedly said that two vessels had sank.
After being rescued by local fishermen and Libyan coastguards, survivors were returned to Libya with footage from Khoms showing the survivors taking shelter under a roof with many appearing dazed.
Recounting the ordeal, one survivor said that by the time the rescue happened “the boat was already sinking, we stayed stuck for 6 hours but thank god at 6pm they helped us.”
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has called it ‘the worst Mediterranean tragedy’ this year.