site.btaUPDATED 18 Migrants Suffocate to Death in Truck near Sofia
The bodies of 18 illegal migrants, who had apparently suffocated to death, were found on a truck near the village of Lokorsko (16 km north of Sofia), the Bulgarian Interior Ministry said on Friday.
All victims are young Afghan males. The body of a child at a visible age of 6 or 7 years was found among them. The truck was transporting over 50 persons concealed in a secret compartment below a load of timber.
By 5:30 p.m. on Friday, seven of the migrants from Lokorsko were at the St Ann Hospital, eight at the Military Medical Academy, seven at the Pirogov Emergency Hospital, four at the Queen Ioanna-ISUL Hospital, four at the Acibadem City Clinic Tokuda Hospital, and four at the Medical Institute of the Ministry of Interior. All of the above-listed medical treatment establishments are in Sofia. Earlier in the day, the Health Ministry said that those who were hospitalized included five children.
The truck driver escaped and is missing. Law enforcers have taken steps to identify and detect him, the Interior Ministry said.
According to Health Minister Asen Medzhidiev, the survivors were found freezing cold and wet. They had certainly not eaten for several days. One of the survivors had serious psychomotor agitation and it took four people to calm him down, the Health Minister said.
Contact is not allowed with those who are in hospital. Most of the necessary tests have been completed. The treatment algorithms will be observed, Medzhidiev said.
The National Investigation Service is taking over the investigation into the migrants' deaths, the prosecutor's office said.
Deputy Prosecutor General Borislav Sarafov is on the scene, as is Sofia City Prosecutor Iliana Kirilova.