Boat capsized in Mediterranean with Bangladeshi migrants was caught in storm: victims
The boat, which capsized in the Mediterranean Sea with 90 migrants including 81 Bangladeshis, was caught in a storm and sank after travelling for 16 hours from Libya's Tripoli to Europe, said victims rescued off the Tunisian coast.
Sixty-eight Bangladeshi migrants – age between 18 and 44 and mostly from Madaripur district -- were rescued off the coast till Thursday, charge d'affaires of Bangladesh Embassy in Tripoli Gazi Md Asaduzzaman Kabir confirmed to The Daily Star last night.
Thirteen Bangladeshi migrants are still missing.
The victims said they had reached Libya via Dubai two months back and boarded the boat from Jawara, 200 kilometres off Tripoli, on May 17 -- heading for Europe.
Tunisian navy and coast guard rescued 77 migrants, including 68 Bangladeshis and nine Nigerians, Moroccans.
The rescued migrants were sent to a seven-day quarantine at different hotels in Tunisian's Djerba and Sfax town under the supervision of IOM.
Among the rescued, two of the Bangladeshis tested coronavirus positive and were sent to a hospital.
A team of Bangladesh Embassy in Tripoli, led by the charge d'affaires, is now in Tunisia to take care of the Bangladeshi migrants.
The charge d'affaires said," We are holding meetings with IOM and Red Crescent and we are in touch with them."
"The rescued Bangladeshi migrants are being provided all necessary assistance. We talked to 32 of them, who are now in Djebra, separately and took the details. They are all physically well."
Process to rescue the missing Bangladeshi migrants are on, he said.
The writer is a freelance journalist.