Lampedusa victims feared to be 300

(ANSA) - Lampedusa, October 4 - The number of victims from a migrant-boat disaster off Lampedusa Thursday is feared to be as high as 300, rescuers said Friday.

About half are women and there are "many" children, they said.

Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said 110 bodies were in the island's morgue and the rough seas made operations to recover bodies difficult.

The boat carrying some 500 Somali and Eritrean asylum seekers caught fire and sank after migrants lit a blanket in an SOS bid.

The disaster has spurred fresh calls to change Italy's immigration law.

Some have urged opening a humanitarian corridor to Italy and others have said migrant trafficking must be stopped on the African coast.

All have said Europe should give Italy more help, which will be discussed by EU ministers Tuesday.

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