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Italian rescuers find 18 bodies on migrant boat: Report

Published on Jul 19, 2014 5:16 PM

ROME (AFP) - Italian rescuers found 18 bodies on a boat carrying hundreds asylum-seekers on Saturday, and suspect they were killed by fumes from the engine in the hold, the ANSA news agency reported.

The boat, with 600 people on board, was intercepted south of the island of Lampedusa, Italy's southernmost point and a major landing point for migrant Mediterranean crossings from Libya.

Another person died while being rescued and two more have been evacuated by helicopter and taken to Palermo hospital in Sicily in a serious condition, the report said.

The coastguard could not be reached for comment.

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