At this picturesque Mediteranean setting, Italian divers worked into the night bringing the bodies of migrants ashore.

One hundred and fifty five people have been pulled out alive after a boat sank just off the coast of Lampedusa last week.

More than 200 bodies have been found and it's feared that around 300 people have drowned.

A Tunisian man suspected of driving the boat was found among survivors and arrested.

The boat, carrying migrants mostly from Eritrea and Somalia, is believed to have capsized when everyone moved to one side to avoid a fire.

The European Commission President and the Italian Prime Minister visited the island to pay their respects.

Italy is asking for EU support to deal with the influx of migrants and an overhaul of immigration rules.

But residents shouted at them calling them idiots.

(SOUNDBITE) (Italian) LAMPEDUSA RESIDENT, FIDELE DI PACE, SAYING:

"They (Barroso, Letta) are coming onto the island for what? To see that everyone is dead? This is completely wrong that they are coming."

It's one of the worst single disasters of migrants risking a dangerous crossing in search of a new life in Europe.

Lampedusa, halfway between Sicily and Tunisia, has become one of the main entry points from Africa.

So many bodies have been brought ashore that the island has turned a hangar at the airport into a makeshift mortuary.

Yet still, despite the disaster, hundreds of migrants continue to arrive on these Italian shores every day.

 

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