Hundreds of people were killed Monday in the Mediterranean Sea in what appears to be the latest mass death of migrants attempting to cross into Europe via the massive body of water, according to a new report. Just hours after hundreds of migrants were rescued from the ocean and brought to Italy safely, as many as 400 other migrants perished during a similar trip, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said.
"Yet another tragedy in the Mediterranean in which, it seems, several hundred people have died," Mattarella said Monday at an event in Rome, Reuters reported. The boats in Monday's accident capsized near Egypt.
In a separate attempt at crossing via what has come to be known as the Italian migration route, nearly 600 people were brought to safety Sunday and Monday, adding to the growing number of migrants — nearly 6,000 — who have been brought to Italy in the past few days, the International Organization for Migration said Monday.
For a point of comparison, around 2,000 migrants arrived to Greece last year during the same time period, the Wall Street Journal reported. That could be an indication the route to Italy from Africa is becoming more popular in the wake of the European Union's deal with Turkey that sends refugees in Greece to Turkey.
More than 850,000 people arrived to Greece last year, and last week the rate of migrants arriving to Italy surged 173 percent more than the week prior, the Mirror reported. During that same time span, the number of people arriving to Greece plummeted by 76 percent.
“There was a significant rise in arrivals in the first three months in Italy,” Flavio di Giacomo, a spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration, said. “But April could bring the total more or less in line with last year.”