Italy migrant shipwreck death toll rises to 62

This photo taken with a mobile phone shows rescuers searching for survivors off the coast of the southern Italian region of Calabria, on Feb. 26, 2023. (Italian Firefighters/Handout via Xinhua)

The death toll from Sunday's sinking of a migrant ship approaching the Italian shore rose to 62 on Monday, including 14 children, local media reported.

Local authorities said that at least 80 people have been rescued after the overloaded vessel crashed against rocks early in the morning near the Calabrian coastal town of Crotone.

Those rescued included three suspected smugglers, who have been detained by the Italian authorities, local media said.

At least ten people are still unaccounted for, a spokesman for the Vigili del Fuoco, Italy's national fire and rescue brigade, told Xinhua on Monday.

According to reports, the crowded ship had sailed from Türkiye last week headed for the southern Italian region of Calabria. During rough weather, the vessel is reported to have sunk after it crashed against rocks.

Most of the bodies were recovered from the beach, while others were found at sea.

Most of those on board were reportedly refugees from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of Pakistan was cited by media on Monday as saying that over two dozen Pakistanis were believed to be among the people who drowned.

Vigili del Fuoco said on Twitter that search efforts continued well into Monday, despite difficult conditions at sea that forced some of the rescue ships to return to port.