IOM: 3,771 migrants died crossing Med in 2015

IOM: 3,771 migrants died crossing Med in 2015

The International Organization for Migration estimates that 3,771 migrants died while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe last year.

The final number for 2015 released Tuesday is up from the 3,692 figure the agency released before Christmas. The IOM said last year was the deadliest on record for migrants crossing the Mediterranean, with the number of deaths rising from 3,279 in 2014.

At the same time, there was an enormous increase last year in people making the often-dangerous crossing. IOM’s final tally for the number of people who arrived in Europe by sea last year was 1,004,356 — a nearly fivefold increase over the previous year’s 219,000.

The IOM says 77 percent of the deaths were on the central Mediterranean route, involving people crossing largely from Libya. [AP]