311 bodies have now been recovered from the debris of the fishing boat that sunk off the shores of Lampedusa Italy last Thursday October 5 2013. Italian coast guards are still continuing the search and recovery drive as survivors of the tragedy claim the bodies of at least 50 migrants are still buried under the sea bed. Reports from Lampedusa say Italian coastguards will start using robots now to try to recover any remaining bodies.
The BBC reported today that among the bodies recovered is that of a pregnant woman and her unborn fetus.
The tragedy has caused a wave of sympathy across Italy and there are calls now to revise Italian criminal law to reduce the suffering the survivors are now undergoing. Under present Italian law, they will face trial for illegally entering Italy. There have also been calls for the law criminalizing any help to illegal migrants to be revoked. Survivors of the tragedy claim a number of Italian fishing boats circled round their burning boat but did not intervene afraid of being prosecuted for helping illegal immigrants.
Council authorities in Italy are still keeping the bodies of the death migrants with no immediate plans to send them back to their countries of origin. Though it is clear most came from Somalia and Eritrea, most of the death migrants do not have any official documentation that could help identify them conclusively. Italian authorities now want to bury the death in Sicily but some relatives who have now been to Lampedusa and positively identified their relatives say they are being denied the right to claim and possibly repatriate them for burial at home in Africa