The small Italian island of Lampedusa was the destination of three boats in a single night that were carrying African migrants who were seeking better prospects for the future in Europe. Unfortunately, most of them never reached the shore.
The third boat overloaded with the migrants is said to have started taking on water. In order to capture the attention of passing ships, someone aboard lit a fire. The flames spread quickly and the panicky passengers all accumulated to one side of the vessel to avoid the blaze. This caused the boat to capsize and hundreds of men, women and children who did not know swimming drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.
Italian officials said that at least 114 people were dead with 200 more still remaining unaccounted for. Painting a grim picture of the accident, Pietro Bartolo, chief of health services in the island said that they needed only caskets and not ambulances.