ROME (AP) — A Sicilian port city receiving the bodies of 49 migrants and hundreds of fellow passengers rescued at sea has canceled its annual fireworks show as it mourns the dead.
The bodies arrived inside a container aboard a rescue vessel, which docked in Catania’s port on Monday. Officials say that instead of removing the corpses individually, a crane will lift the container onto a truck for transport to the city morgue.
Deputy Mayor Marco Consoli says the fireworks display for the city’s patron saint day celebration was scrapped “out of respect for the 49” who perished inside an overcrowded smuggling boat on Saturday.
Italy’s navy found the victims, who apparently died after inhaling fuel fumes, inside the boat’s hold. More than 300 survived.
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The burial will be in Catania’s cemetery.