A Tunisian man was arrested in Italy today, charged for responsibility in the deaths of over 200 migrants in a shipwreck last week.
Khaled Ben Salem, a 35 year-old man from Sfax, is charged with causing the shipwreck, multiple murders, and aiding clandestine immigration, according to Al Jazeera English.
Survivors’ depositions say that Ben Salem met them in the Libyan desert, led them to the Libyan coastal city of Misrata, and put them on the boat to Lampedusa, according to the Italian Interior Ministry.
The depositions also claim Ben Salem started a fire on board to signal for assistance after satellite phones on board failed.
The boat then caught on fire and sunk near Lampedusa. Bodies are still being recovered from the wreckage.
A majority of the boat’s passengers were from the east African nation of Eritrea, according to the UNHCR. Survivors reported being at sea for 13 days before the boat’s engine stopped less than a mile from their destination.
Lampedusa is the destination of many immigrants seeking to arrive in Europe from Africa.