Up to 100 children may have been on board on a fishing boat that capsized off southern Greece in one of Europe’s biggest migrant disasters.
The calamity has already claimed the lives of at least 78 people.
Reports indicate that up to 750 passengers were aboard the ship, but many more could yet be lost at sea.
The nation’s coastguard has come under fire for not getting involved sooner, but according to the authorities, their offers of assistance were turned down.
As chances of finding further survivors fade, rescuers are still conducting a large search operation off the coast of Greece.
Medical professionals who cared for the primarily male passengers have provided shocking descriptions of a huge number of women and children traveling in the ship’s hold.
Medical professionals who cared for the survivors, who were largely men, have reported horrifying details about a sizable number of women and children traveling in the ship’s hold.
As many as 100 children may have been in the hold, according to Manolis Makaris, a doctor at Kalamata Hospital, who talked to local media after lending a survivor his phone so they could call home.
There were 100 children on board, a survivor was asked by a different reporter from Greece’s ANT1 channel, and the survivor responded, “Yes.”
The same figure was provided by the charity Save the Children, who cited the accounts of survivors.
However, according to government spokesman Ilias Siakantaris, there were were unconfirmed reports that up to 750 people in total were on the boat.
“We do not know what was in the hold… but we know that several smugglers lock people up to maintain control,” he told public broadcaster ERT.