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Migrant coffins lined up in Italian airport hangar

Published: Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013 12:17 a.m. CDT

LAMPEDUSA, Italy – The coffins of African migrants killed in a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa were lined up in long rows inside an airport hangar where survivors of the tragedy paid their respects Saturday. All of the caskets had a single white rose on top except for the four of the youngest victims, which had stuffed animals.

The ceremony took place hours after Italian fishermen threw a bouquet of yellow flowers near the exact spot where the migrant boat sank, honking their foghorns in tribute to the dead and up to 250 migrants who may still be missing.

The search to recover more bodies, meanwhile, was called off for a second day because of choppy waters and strong currents.

A parliamentary delegation visited the survivors amid reports that a boat may have violated the “law of the sea” by failing to help the migrant ship packed with 500 migrants, nearly all from Eritrea, about 650 yards from shore.

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