ROME: As a result of allegations that authorities were slow to respond to the migrant boat disaster last weekend, which resulted in the deaths of dozens of people, Italian prosecutors are investigating the actions of emergency services, a police source confirmed on Thursday.


Crotone’s prosecutors have asked the Guardia di Finanza police for records detailing their actions before a boat carrying between 150 and 200 migrants capsized last Sunday, just meters from the shore. Media in Italy reported that a similar request had been made to the Coast Guard.
Neither the Coast Guard nor the prosecutors issued a statement right away.

On Thursday, Italian President Sergio Mattarella visited hospitalized survivors, bringing toys for the children among them. The sports arena was where he paid his respects by bowing his head over the coffins of the victims.

Authorities in the area reported on Thursday that they had found one more body, bringing the total number of fatalities to 68. Forty-eight Afghans, three Pakistanis, a Syrian, a Tunisian, and a Palestinian are among the 54 people who have been positively identified so far.

Shahida Raza, a former member of the Pakistani national hockey team, was one of the victims.

Italy’s newly elected right-wing government has been criticized by the United Nations and others for its tough new laws regarding migrant rescue charities in the wake of the tragedy.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has urged her European counterparts to take stronger action to curb illegal immigration and avert further tragedies at sea.
Concerns have also been raised about how the situation in an emergency is being handled.
The boat, which had left Turkiye, was spotted for the first time late on Saturday, roughly 74 kilometers from the coast of Calabria, by a plane belonging to Frontex, the European Union’s border agency.
Frontex reported no distress signals from the vessel but notified Italian authorities that a large number of people may be hiding below deck thanks to thermal imaging.
The Italian Coast Guard (Guardia di Finanza) said that two patrol boats set out to look for the migrants, but ultimately gave up and headed back to port because of the weather.
The media has questioned the delay in calling in the Coast Guard, whose vessels are better suited to handle rough seas.