Ibrahim Mansour, one of 20 survivors of one of the deadliest boat accidents in the Eastern Mediterranean, says he can’t forgive himself for failing to save others while speaking from a hospital bed while still in shock.
The small boat carrying more than 150 people set sail from crisis-torn Lebanon early last week in the hopes of finding a better life in Italy.
According to the United Nations, those on board included both children and elderly people and were primarily Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians.
Clinging to the capsized boat were those who managed to survive.
“I cry all the time; I’m in shock. I saw bodies and horrible images. My heart hearts,” Mansour said. “I tried to help children and another man; I tried to keep their spirits alive, but I couldn’t. This is hurting me, especially because of the child who was holding onto me before I lost him. They told me he died.”
Mansour eventually managed to swim to the Syrian coast, arriving on Thursday night.
According to Syrian state media, 97 people have died, 20 people have been saved, and additional people are still missing.
According to the Lebanese Transport Minister Ali Hamie, there are 24 children and 31 women among the deceased.