CATASTROPHE

UN: 500 Dead in Overloaded Migrant Boat

Officials said early Wednesday that as many as 500 migrants may have drowned off the coast of Libya in an overloaded boat. The repurposed fishing vessel was aiming to reach Libya, survivors said. The UN refugee agency said the boat became overburdened when smugglers tried to pile on more people from a smaller craft, while miles away from shore. “Due to the overcrowding, the large boat sank,” the agency said in a statement. There were 41 survivors, from Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan. Though rumors of the shipwreck had been swirling since last week, it had not been confirmed until the agency was able to interview and release testimony from survivors.