China is working with Nicaragua on identifying the five people killed in a ship collision involving illegal Chinese immigrants, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
It was reported that a ship carrying dozens of illegal Chinese immigrants collided with another vessel near Nicaragua on May 25, said a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry Web site (www.fmprc.gov.cn).
Five people, whose citizenship cannot be identified, died, while 38 of the survivors were confirmed to be illegal Chinese immigrants, the statement said, citing Nicaraguan sources.
China's Foreign Ministry had tried various means to confirm the information since the accident took place, the statement said.
"However, we have not confirmed whether the dead are Chinese or not so far," the statement said.
As China and Nicaragua had no diplomatic relations, the Chinese Embassy in Mexico had been working with the Nicaraguan side to properly resolve the issue, the statement said.
(Xinhua News Agency June 4, 2007)