ROME

At least 67 migrants have drowned after a boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea near Libya’s northwestern coast, according to Italian media.

A fisherman reported the incident to Alarm-Phone-Initiative, a self-organized hotline for refugees in distress in the Mediterranean Sea, ANSA news agency said late Wednesday.

At least 67 people died while 30 others were rescued, the agency said, adding the migrants were trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

Every year, thousands of irregular migrants use Libya as a gateway to cross the Mediterranean to Europe in overcrowded boats, often dying in the process.

*Bassel Barakat

Read more: 67 migrants drown off Libya coast