A 35-year old asylum seeker has died hours after being transferred to Christmas Island by Australian authorities.

The Sri Lankan man was on Wednesday transferred to hospital from the Phosphate Hill processing area on the island after falling ill.

He died a short time later, the immigration department said in a statement on Thursday.

The man had arrived on the island a few hours earlier.

“The department expresses its sympathy to the man’s family,” a departmental spokesman said.

The case has now been referred to the relevant agency for investigation.”

Counsellors have been made available to support the facility’s detainees and staff. (The Australaian)