Official: Five Bangladeshis among Migrants in Shipwreck off Turkey
Five Bangladeshi nationals were aboard the ship wrecked earlier this week off Turkey's Mediterranean coast, officials in Dhaka said Thursday, quoting survivor Abul Kalam Azad.
The official BSS news agency quoted 27-year-old Azad as telling Bangladeshi diplomats based in Ankara that himself and four other Bangladeshis were on board at the time of the accident.
The ship split in two after crashing into a reef in a heavy storm off the resort town of Kemer on January 1 while carrying a 10-man crew and an estimated 80 illegal immigrants, mostly from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Only nine bodies have been recovered and there has been speculation over the fate of some 50 illegal immigrants thought to have been trapped inside the ship.
Thirty-two people were rescued, including the captain and six crewmen, all of them Greek nationals.
Azad, the 33rd survivor, was plucked alive from rough seas Tuesday some 30 hours after the accident.
According to BSS, he later confided to Bangladeshi diplomats that he and four other Bangladeshis, all aged between 27 and 30, had boarded the ship on December 29. The four included Monir Hossain from southwestern Khulna district and Shah Alam from central Madaripur, but he could not give details of the other two.
Officials here said Azad, who hails from Dhaka's suburban Munshiganj district, entered Turkey in June last year and was staying in Istanbul. He is now under Turkish police custody after being released from hospital.
Azad earlier told the press in Turkey that 22 Indians, 53 Pakistanis and a few Bangladeshis were aboard the ship and were supposed to have been taken to Greece -- ISTANBUL (AFP)
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