Update 1: Italian senator condemns Malta as migrant tragedy unfolds off Lampedusa
An Italian Senator, Roberto Formigoni, condemned Malta and Spain as a migrant tragedy unfolds off Lampedusa with 82 migrants confirmed dead after their boat capsized.
Talking on Rai 24, Senator Formigoni said Malta and Spain were pushing back migrants resulting in their deaths.
The vessel that sank this morning off Lampedusa was carrying between 450 and 500 migrants but only around 150 have been saved by Italian rescue officials.
Italian media are reporting that the vessel capsized and caught fire. The fire is believed to have started when the migrants torched a blanket to attract attention but the fire spread quickly.
The alarm was raised by two fishing boats which happened to be in the vicinity.
Moment earlier, another rickety vessel arrived at Lampedusa carrying 463 irregular migrants.