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At least 40 migrants suffocate to death in boat off Libya

At least 40 migrants have died in the hold of a boat in the Mediterranean, the Italian navy has said.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported the boat was 21 miles off the coast of Libya and carrying about 400 migrants, with the deaths likely caused by suffocation.

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Migrants suffocate in the water-logged hold of boat

At least 40 migrants have died after apparently getting trapped and suffocating in the water-logged hold of a boat in the Mediterranean, the Italian navy has said.

The victims are thought to inhaled fumes from fuel after the boat took on water in the hold, the captain of the navy ship leading the rescue said on Italian state television.

The Italian navy said women and children were among the 300 survivors. Credit: Italian Navy

Commander Massimo Tozzi, speaking from the ship, said that when his men boarded the migrant boat they found the dead in the hold "immersed in water".

Commander Tozzi said his ship, the Cigala Fulgosi, had taken on more than 300 survivors, including women and children.

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