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273, out of 287 migrants on board that boat, were from Bangladesh

Bangladesh Embassy in Rome has urged all concerned not to be trapped by the human traffickers.

The request came following the death of seven reportedly Bangladesh nationals due to hypothermia (prolonged exposure to extreme cold temperatures).

Italian sources primarily confirmed that 273, out of 287 total migrants on board, were from Bangladesh. Of them, 7 died, while the rest are Egyptian nationals, said the Bangladesh Mission in Rome.

The Embassy expressed its sincere condolences for the victims and deep sympathy to their families; and mentioned that it remains in close touch with the concerned authorities in Italy for next appropriate action.

Seven dead bodies of reported Bangladesh nationals have already been sent to Agrigento (a place in Sicily) to be kept in the mortuary till repatriation and burial.

Discussion is on about procedural formalities for burial or repatriation to Bangladesh, said the Embassy.

Visiting dead bodies need court permission which is in progress but may take some time due to procedural matters, it said.

The officer met and talked with some survivors who have been shifted to various locations or admission centres.

On receiving the information of the tragic incident on January 25 causing death of seven Bangladesh nationals, Bangladesh Embassy in Rome has been keeping constant touch with the relevant Italian authorities including two Honorary Consuls General of Bangladesh to Catania and Palermo to gather actual information and for taking appropriate measures from the Bangladesh side, said the Bangladesh Mission in Rome on Friday night.

A two-member team led by Md. Arfanul Huque, Counsellor (Labour Welfare), accompanied by an Italian-knowing official, reached Lampedusa island, Italy on January 26.

The Labour Counsellor met Deputy Mayor of Lampedusa Prestipino Salvatore (Mayor was outside the station) on January 27.

During the meeting, both sides discussed the tragic incident and possible strategies and arrangements to prevent it in future and on closer coordination between the Italian side and the Embassy.

He also met senior officials of the Italian Coast Guard (Corpo delle capitanerie di porto-Guardia Costiera) on Friday.