Europe 1 with AFP 8:37 p.m., June 28, 2022

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced on Tuesday that a pregnant woman had died and at least 22 people, including children, were missing after a shipwreck in the central Mediterranean.

The humanitarian NGO managed to rescue 71 people, including a four-month-old baby.

A pregnant woman has died and at least 22 people, including children, are missing after a shipwreck in the central Mediterranean, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced on Tuesday.

The humanitarian NGO managed to rescue 71 people, including a four-month-old baby, via its ambulance ship Geo Barents, during this shipwreck which took place on Monday off the Libyan coast.

"Yesterday we faced our worst nightmare come true," team leader Riccardo Gatti said in a statement.

Two women say they lost their children at sea

The makeshift boat was sinking and many people were already in the water when the Geo Barents arrived on scene, following a distress call.

A pregnant woman was taken on board but did not survive despite desperate attempts to save her, MSF said.

At least 22 people are also missing, according to information gathered from survivors.

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Two women said they lost their children at sea, while another young woman lost her baby brother.

An infant was resuscitated on board before being evacuated to Malta in a medical emergency, with his mother, while the other survivors remained on board the Geo Barents.

A crossing considered the deadliest in the world

"Survivors are exhausted, many have ingested large quantities of seawater and several were suffering from hypothermia after spending many hours in the water," said Stephanie Hofstetter, head of MSF's medical team on board. .

“At least ten people, mostly women, suffer from moderate to severe fuel burns and require further care.”

The crossing of the central Mediterranean is considered the deadliest in the world for migrants, who embark there on board makeshift boats.

According to the Italian Interior Ministry, nearly 27,000 people have reached Italy by sea from the coasts of North Africa since the start of the year, compared to just under 20,000 over the same period in 2021. .

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