Rome (CNN) – A rescue operation is underway in the Mediterranean after a boat carrying possibly hundreds of migrants from Libya capsized overnight, the Armed Forces of Malta said Sunday.
Rescuers from Italy and Malta have seen scores of bodies in Libyan waters, said Maltese military spokesman David Cioffi. Children are among the dead.
They’re have been 28 survivors so far, while 23 bodies were recovered in an area 73 miles north of Libya, the Italian Coast Guard Admiral Giovanni Pettorino said.
Survivors said that 700 to 800 people had been on board the boat.
Hours in cold water
The vessel was large and had multiple levels, said Italian Coast Guard spokesman Francesca Caruso.
A distress call went out late Saturday indicating the ship was in trouble, Italian authorities said. Passengers had been in the chilly water for possibly for hours.
A storm brewing in the area threatens to hinder the rescue operations.