West News Wire: On Friday, Bulgarian police found an abandoned vehicle filled with the bodies of 18 migrants who appeared to have died of suffocation.
According to preliminary reports, the truck was transporting roughly 40 migrants, and the survivors were rushed to local hospitals for emergency care, according to the Interior Ministry.
The majority of the survivors, according to Bulgaria’s Health Minister Assen Medzhidiev, are in extremely poor health.
They haven’t eaten for days, clearly, and their clothing are wet and chilly, according to Medzhidiev. They have also suffered from a lack of oxygen.
On a highway close to Sofia, the capital, the truck was discovered abandoned. Police found the passengers in a covert compartment below a pile of lumber even though the driver was not present.
Authorities did not immediately give the nationalities of the migrants. Bulgarian media reported they all were from Afghanistan.
Bulgaria, a Balkan country of 7 million and the poorest member of the European Union, is located on a major route for migrants from the Middle East and Afghanistan seeking to enter Europe from Turkey. Very few plan to stay, with most using Bulgaria as a transit corridor on their way westward.
Bulgaria has erected a barbed-wire fence along its 259-kilometer (161-mile) border with Turkey, but with the help of local human traffickers many migrants still manage to enter.
In Britain in October 2019, police found the bodies of 39 people inside a refrigerated container that had been hauled to England. British police said all the victims, who ranged in age from 15 to 44, came from impoverished villages in Vietnam and were believed to have paid smugglers to take them on a risky journey to better lives abroad.
Police said they died of a combination of a lack of oxygen and overheating in an enclosed space. The truck discovered in the town of Grays, east of London, had arrived in England on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium.