At least 13 people were confirmed dead after a boat carrying migrants capsized near the Italian island of Lampedusa in the Mediterranean on its way to Italy early Monday morning.
In a statement, the Italian authorities said a dozen people are still missing adding that search and rescue operations were underway.
The incident was reported shortly after midnight and bad weather has been blamed for the tragedy.
The boat left the Tunisian coast with about 50 people on board on Sunday night when it capsized about six nautical miles from Lampedusa Island.
Italy’s coastguard responded to the incident and rescued 22 people from the water. 13 bodies of women were also recovered.
According to reports by the survivors, eight of the missing people were children.
The incident comes barely a month after Italy and France called on the European Union to develop a system of distributing immigrants across the EU following the recent surge in the number of migrants entering Europe through Italy and Greece.