Italy's coastguard says 400 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean have been saved and 25 bodies recovered so far after an overcrowded fishing boat capsized off Libya, The Guardian reported.
A rescue operation involving seven ships is in progress after a metal boat thought to be carrying up to 600 people ran into difficulty 15 nautical miles off Libya.
A distress call was picked up by the coastguard in Catania, Sicily, and two vessels - the Médecins Sans Frontières ship Dignity I and Irish patrol vessel Le Niamh - were immediately dispatched to the scene.
Although details are yet to be confirmed, the capsizing is understood to have happened at about 1pm after migrants rushed to one side of the ship as mobile units from the Irish rescue carrier approached it.
Metal boats are known to be less sturdy than other kinds of vessels, and the boat sank quickly, according to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.