ROME – Officials in Catania, Sicily, say 49 migrants who died in the crowded hold of a smuggling boat will be buried in a local cemetery.
Deputy Mayor Marco Consoli says the bodies are expected to arrive Monday in Catania, an Italian port.
On Sunday, a Norwegian vessel participating in a European rescue-and-patrol mission in the Mediterranean was bringing the bodies and more than 300 survivors from the boat toward Sicily. The migrants were rescued Saturday by an Italian navy ship.
Navy officials said an initial inspection indicated the victims, at first estimated to number over 40, died from inhaling exhaust fumes. Survivors say places on the boat's deck and life vests go to migrants who can afford to pay smugglers more.
At least 2,300 migrants have died at sea this year.