Italian authorities are investigating the deaths of 26 women and girls after their bodies were found in the Mediterranean Sea.
Most of the girls were aged 14-18 and are believed to have been migrants from Nigeria who were travelling by boat from Libya to Europe, CNN reports.
According to Salerno's head of police Lorena Ciccotti, coroners will be investigating if the girls had been sexually abused or tortured amid suspicions that their deaths are linked to sex trafficking.
The bodies were found nearby a rubber dingy that had almost sunk; other survivors were desperately clinging onto the remains of the vessel.
As the BBC reports, 23 of the women who lost their lives had been on the dingy with 64 others.
The bodies were brought to shore on the Spanish warship Cantabria, which also carried around 374 other migrants who had been found in other rescue attempts in the Mediterranean over the weekend.
Italian authorities are currently questioning five migrants in connection with the deaths.