Upwards of 950 migrants from Libya drowned in the Mediterranean Sea when the boat they were traveling on capsized Sunday. While details continue to emerge, the tragedy highlights a larger crisis that Europe lawmakers have left largely unaddressed.
A survivor told the Associated Press that 300 of those people were locked in the hold below.
28 survivors had been rescued and 24 bodies had been recovered at press time.
According to the UN's refugee agency, the UNHCR, 3,500 migrants died in 2014 attempting to cross the Mediterranean on the way to Europe.
900 migrants have died attempting the crossing between January 1 and April 15 of this year, and that number could end up doubling if some survivors' estimates of today's tragedy prove true.
The EU used to have an extensive Mediterranean search-and-rescue operation dubbed Mare Nostrum, but it was scaled back and refocused towards border patrol last October. Many have condemned the move and suggested that some of the blame for this ongoing crisis lies with European lawmakers.
"What is happening now is of epic proportions," Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said to the BBC. "If Europe, if the global community continues to turn a blind eye… we will all be judged in the same way that history has judged Europe when it turned a blind eye to the genocide of this century and last century."
Bad at filling out bios seeks same.