Migrant boat dramatically catches fire in the Mediterranean Sea
Footage captured by the Portuguese Air Force shows the moment a migrant boat was engulfed in flames in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.
Everyone on board the rubber dingy ended up in the water after it exploded off the Spanish coast. All 34 were rescued and taken ashore.
The Portuguese crew, operating from a base in Malaga, Spain, spotted the vessel during a surveillance mission for Frontex, the European border and coast guard agency.
They launched a lifeboat and several other boats, including a fishing craft, which went to the scene to assist in the rescue. The cause of the explosion and the nationality of the migrants is unknown.
On Tuesday, the UN said this year’s toll of migrants dead or missing in the Mediterranean has climbed to more than 1,700.
Last week, a wooden boat carrying about 500 migrants was hit by a wave, which caused passengers to rush to one side of the vessel, according to the Italian Coast Guard. This tipped about 200 people overboard into the Mediterranean; 34 died in the incident.