Italian divers search ship's hold for more bodies

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Migrants wait to board a ferry boat from the port of Lampedusa, for Sicily, southern Italy, where they will be sent to other temporary camps based on their legal status, Monday, Oct. 7, 2013. On Thursday a fishing boat packed with 500 African migrants capsized off the shores of the island of Lampedusa, causing at least 190 dead and more than 100 missing in what could become the largest death toll in a migrant shipwreck in the Mediterranean on record. Laura Boldrini, the speaker of Italy's lower house who recently led a parliamentary delegation to Lampedusa, said the migrants who are reaching Europe's shores now are by and large asylum seekers, not economic migrants, as has been the case in the past, and that European countries need to align their immigration policies. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

LAMPEDUSA, Italy (AP) — Italian divers headed into the hold of a sunken smugglers' boat lying on the ocean floor Monday, hoping to find more bodies from a horrific shipwreck.

Only 155 people survived Thursday's sinking off the Italian island of Lampedusa, one of the worst such migrant disasters in the Mediterranean.

Teams of divers recovered 83 bodies on Sunday, bringing the official death toll to 194. But more bodies are believed trapped in the hull of the 18-meter (59-foot) boat, which is resting 47 meters (154 feet) below the surface.

More than 150 people remain missing. Italian Coast Guard Capt. Filippo Marini estimated it would take two more days to complete the search and recovery mission.

"Bodies have been recovered from outside the ship and from the ship's cabin. Now we have to get inside the hold," Marini said Monday.

The ship had arrived within sight of Lampedusa, a tiny island that is Italy's southernmost point, after two days of sailing from Libya. A signal fire panicked the migrants, causing them to rush to one side of the boat. As it capsized, hundreds of people, many of whom could not swim, were thrown into the sea.

Tens of thousands of migrants from African and the Middle East try to cross the Mediterranean Sea each year, seeking a better life in Europe. Hundreds die in the process.