More than 100 people have been picked up by a ship which sails under the flag of Gibraltar.
Italian police said between 60 and 70 people had been injured, some with severe burns from the accident on a major highway in Bologna.
Italy’s firefighters tweeted that they have sent multiple rescue and emergency squads.
Taking a dip for the cameras in a pool seized form a mob boss, the right-wing interior minister is keen to show he is tough on crime.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said it was Spain’s duty to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.
Lukasz Herba was jailed for more than 16 years over the kidnapping of Chloe Ayling.
The standoff marked the first display of Italy’s new get-tough immigration policy.
The law professor will head a populist government.
Investors believe the vote could see Italy moving closer to abandoning the euro.
The political turmoil could see the country propelled to fresh elections as soon as late summer.