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Europe's Border Crisis

Footage Shows Refugees Fighting for Their Lives Aboard Boat Off Libya

Migrant Crisis: Women, Children Among 71 Dead in Austria Truck Tragedy 2:18

Dramatic footage published Friday showed refugees fighting for their lives after being overcome by fumes while attempting the dangerous sea crossing from north Africa to Europe.

At least 50 bodies were found aboard the vessel in the Mediterranean Sea just off the coast of Libya on Wednesday. Survivors said some of the victims had died in the hold after inhaling gasoline fumes.

The Swedish coast guard, along with charities Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) and Medicins San Frontieres (MSF), intercepted the boat 30 miles north of the Libyan town of Zuwara.

The footage distributed by Reuters showed the aid workers attempting to save the lives of apparent survivors while they lay among dead bodies and scattered possessions on deck. Some of the footage too graphic to air.

Rescuers Battle to Resuscitate Migrants off Libyan Coast 0:32

Conflict in Africa and the Middle East has sparked soaring numbers of refugees attempting the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, with almost 2,500 dying in 2015 so far, according to the International Office of Migration.

The vast majority of these deaths have been off the coast of Libya, which has been in chaos since its 2011 civil war led to the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi.