Five more bodies of migrants who died off the southern coast of Lampedusa have been found, Italy’s coast guard said on Sunday, making a total death toll to 18.
Survivors disclosed that the boat had departed from Libya despite the bad weather, carrying over 170 people.
The Lampedusa coast guard was able to bring safely onshore 147 migrants after the accident on Nov. 23.
Search operations was blocked for several days, due to bad weather but on Sunday six coast guard divers carried out a remote submarine operations and found four more bodies underwater and one floating.
“We can only listen to the silence of the dead,” Lampedusa mayor Toto Martello said.
“We are alone in rescuing their bodies at sea, in weeping for them and buring them. We are surrounded by silence and indifference.”
Prosecutors in the Sicilian town of Agrigento are investigating the accident. A judicial source said that based on interviews with the survivors the missing people were mostly Tunisian, Algerian and Pakistani.
More than 1,100 migrants have died or are missing at sea after attempting to cross the Mediterranean this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.