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Death Toll Rises After Migrant Shipwreck

dateline: 08 October 2013

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • migrant: a person who moves from one region or country to another
  • illegal: not lawful
  • capsize: to turn over or sink in the water (a boat)
  • flee: to run away from a dangerous location in search of safety
  • political asylum: protection in a foreign country due to threats or political conflict
  • unrest: conflict

Death Toll Rises After Migrant Shipwreck

A fishing boat 500 illegal African migrants capsized last Thursday just off Lampedusa island, the southernmost island of Italy. The shipwreck after a fire onboard caused passengers to flee to one side of the deck. Only 155 of the migrants survived the shipwreck and were rescued by nearby fishermen. Divers have now recovered over 200 bodies, and the remaining are believed to be trapped inside the boat, which is resting almost 50 meters of the Sea. The survivors who are seeking political asylum were transferred to a refugee camp on Lampedusa island. Thousands of people from Africa and the Middle East arrive on the tiny island every year. The illegal migrants are usually escaping unrest.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Where is Lampedusa?
  2. Why were so many people on a fishing boat?
  3. What happened to the survivors?

Discussion Question: While many fishermen helped with the rescue efforts, others have been accused of not doing enough to help. Should fishermen risk their lives and livelihoods to save illegal migrants?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

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