Seven Bangladeshi migrants have died of hypothermia (a drop in body temperature) on a boat en route from Libya to the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, Italy. Prosecutor Luigi Patronazzio of Agrigento, Italy, said in a statement on Tuesday.
He said members of the Coast Guard had seen the migrants’ boat floating overnight, 29 kilometers off the coast of the uninhabited island of Lampion, near Lampedusa. Later, rescue operations were carried out to rescue the migrants. He said his office had launched an investigation into illegal immigration and the deaths of immigrants.
Lampedusa Mayor Salvatore Martello has confirmed the deaths of the seven Bangladeshi migrants. He said there were at least 260 people on board the boat carrying the migrants; Most of them are citizens of Bangladesh and Egypt.
Italy is one of the main routes for thousands of asylum seekers and migrants to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. Over the past few months, the tendency of migrants to cross the Mediterranean to Europe has increased dramatically.
According to Italian government figures, 1,851 migrants have arrived in various Italian ports since the beginning of the year on Monday.