Captain of Deadly Shipwreck Arrested After Hundreds of Asylum Seekers Perished

At least 250 people died in the accident

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The captain of a boat full of asylum seekers that sank near Italy last week, killing at least 250 people, was arrested Tuesday on multiple charges of murder, causing a shipwreck and aiding illegal immigration.

Bensalem Khaled, a 35-year-old Tunisian, was taken to a Sicilian prison on Tuesday. The ship sank near Lampedusa, a popular island haven for traveling migrants.

A survivor explained how the ship capsized:

“Water started to get on the boat. The captain started a fire to call for a rescue, but it was near the engine and the fire just erupted everywhere. People were jumping in the water, they were shocked. Two ships passed but didn’t rescue us. Some people were able to swim while others were drowning. It was a tragedy.”

The boat held about 520 people, of which about 90 were women and 15 were children. Only 155 are accounted for who survived.