The Italian navy Wednesday was raising the wreckage of a boat, believed to have carried at least 700 African migrants, which sank in April 2015.
The navy has recovered more than 100 bodies so far, but many more, including those of women and children, are believed to be
locked below deck.
A refrigerated transport structure is being used so that scientists may try to identify the bodies of victims.
The boat capsized 193 kilometers south of the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on April 18, 2015, when it is believed migrants moved to one side of the vessel as a merchant ship approached.
Only 28 people are believed to have survived the wreck last year, causing public outrage and forcing the European Union to support more search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean.
Italian officials said they rescued 7,000 migrants from small boats just last week.
More than 200,000 migrants have arrived in Europe by sea and 2,888 have died in 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration. Most of the migrants arriving by sea are from Eritrea, Nigeria, Somalia, and Gambia. Although many asylum seekers and refugees in Europe are from Syria and Afghanistan, they are more likely to make the trek on land through Turkey.