On Tuesday, Italian authorities arrested Mohammed Ali Malek, captain of the 66-foot boat that capsized off the coast of Libya on Sunday, killing over 800 migrants seeking refuge in Europe. Malek and Mahmud Bikhit, a fellow crew member, will reportedly face charges including reckless multiple homicide and engaging in illegal human trafficking.
More Details About the Fatal Accident at Sea
The horrifying deaths of hundreds of would-be migrants, widely characterized as the deadliest shipwreck on record in the Mediterranean, occurred after the boat they were in rammed into the King Jacob, a Portuguese container ship, that had responded to a distress call. (In a separate incident Monday, another migrant ship sank near Greece, reportedly killing three.)
According to accounts given by the disaster's few survivors to local authorities and international organizations, the migrants had been locked in the hold when the boat capsized. Malek has been accused of steering recklessly in the boat's final moments.
"Prosecutors in Italy are investigating what caused the sinking, including whether the vessel capsized after the migrants rushed to one side of the ship," The New York Times reported.
Few Survivors Out of 850 Passengers