ROME—A small boat crammed with illegal immigrants capsized off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on Monday evening, killing a 2-year-old girl and leaving at least eight people missing, rescuers said.
The Italian coast guard and fishermen who were in the area when the boat hit some rocks before capsizing saved 43 other people. Most of those rescued were from Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, and Mali and had departed from Sfax, in Tunisia.
Survivors told rescuers that at least eight people who were aboard were missing, including two children.
Meanwhile, a fishing boat with 400 illegal immigrants onboard disembarked at the commercial port of Lampedusa, after being escorted by the local coast guard, bringing the total of the people landed in the island on Monday to 800 in 11 different arrivals.
Last week, over 1,200 rescued illegal immigrants had arrived on the tiny island in just 26 hours.
Lampedusa is a small stretch of land and the southernmost spot of Italy. Mass arrivals of illegal immigrants over the years have often brought its services to the brink of collapse. Formally, the local facility on the island has enough capacity for only 400 people.
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