The migrants are said to have left Libya and were heading for Italy when the incident took place. According to reports, most them were Somali migrants.
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However officials managed to rescue some survivors who alleged that over 500 migrants had drowned. According to a report in BBC, 41 survivors were rescued and transferred to another vessel.
Somalia government initally said that close to 400 migrants had drowned but later on said that 200-300 migrants, mostly of Somali origin had drowned. Officials said that the migrants were trying to illegally enter Europe and hence very little was known of the accident.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella said there had been a "migrant tragedy".
The Italian Coastguard, on the other hand, said that they were unaware of the incident. Though several reports suggest that 400 migrants may have drowned, the number remains unconfirmed.