Many of the migrants aboard a boat that capsized off Lampedusa have survived, according to Italy's coast guard.
Spokesman Marco Di Milla says "a good number" of the estimated 200 people have been rescued.
He says the coast guard was able to locate it based on the coordinates of a satellite phone call it made.
Helicopters are reportedly taking the injured to the Sicilian island.
Italian broadcaster RAI has shown footage purporting to show the rescue operation underway off the coast of Sicily.
What appears to be the hull of a boat is visible under the green and red vessel.
A migrant boat that capsized near the coast of Sicily had around 250 people on board, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.
It also reports that two Navy vessels are in the area and that helicopters and inflatable boats are also helping with the rescue effort.
Italy's Navy has said that another migrant broat has capsized off the coast of Sicily.
At least 200 people are in the sea and Navy vessels are assisting in the rescue operation.
Earlier this month a migrant boat sunk off Italy, killing 232 people.