Even prior to the survivors being interviewed, the Coast Guard from Italy said it assumed many had died given the ship’s size.
The coast guard helped rescue some of the 144 people who survived on Monday and launched a search by air and sea in hopes of rescuing others. However, no others were found.
On Tuesday, the aid organization said through interviews with the survivors indicated there might have been more than 400 that had drowned.
The refugee agency from the UN said the toll was because of the ship’s large size. The deaths, if they can be confirmed would add to a skyrocketing number of migrants that have been lost at sea.
It is estimated by the International Organization of Migration that as many as 3,075 migrants died in 2014 in the Mediterranean, in comparison to 700 during 2013. However, the groups says even their estimates might be low. Overall, since 2000, it is estimated that more than 22,000 migrants died in their attempt to reach Europe.
Earlier the top official in migration from the European Union said that the EU must adapt quickly to the increasing numbers of migrants attempting to reach its shores. New figures indicate that over 7,000 migrants have been rescued over just the past four days.
Over 280,000 people entered illegally in the European Union in 2014. Many of them are from Eritrea, Somalia and Syria and made the perilous journey on the seas from Libya.
Coast Guards in Europe have become overwhelmed with the numbers. As the weather improves, even more will start to flee conflict in their countries for what they hope is a better life in Europe.
Of the 7,000 migrants that have been saved since Friday, more than 3,500 were still on the vessels that rescued them and were headed to Italy. Thus far, only 11 bodies had been recovered.