The bodies of dozens of migrants who died at sea were tossed overboard during a journey from Africa to Spain's Canary Islands last month, according to reports.
A vessel carrying nearly 50 migrants reached the island of El Hierro on March 27 with at least one dead child on board.
The survivors, all migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, said they had set off from Nauckchott, a major port city and capital of Mauritania.
It later came to light that approximately 25 migrants may have perished during the journey.
The deceased were allegedly thrown into the sea along the way.
"Apparently the boat had left Nouakchott at dawn on March 19 and in a matter of days the water supply ran out and they only had biscuits to eat, which meant that some of those hospitalized, to quench their thirst, had drunk saltwater," Canarias7 reports.
"The harsh conditions imposed by the bosses during the journey, who allegedly tied and beat a man, as well as the intrinsic circumstances of the trip, could have led to the deaths of more than 25 people, say the National Police."
Three of the vessel's occupants were arrested and may face charges related to homicide and human rights violations.
Two of the suspects were placed in preventative detention pending further investigation.
More than 5,550 migrants have reportedly reached the archipelago so far this year.
Most of the migrants who travel to the Canaries plan to eventually travel to the European mainland, either by claiming asylum, hopping flights, or by paying human traffickers to facilitate the journey.
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(PHOTO: Europa Press via Getty Images)