18 asylum seekers found dead in a truck in Bulgaria
AFP and DW reported that 18 asylum seekers were found dead in a truck in Bulgaria. It was learned that the truck carrying 52 people in total came from Turkey.
18 asylum seekers were found dead in a truck that came from Turkey to Bulgaria. Following the incident, Bulgarian police detained seven people, including the presumed leader of the human trafficking ring.
The truck carrying migrants was spotted by residents in a village 20 kilometers from the capital Sofia on Friday. 34 of the 52 irregular migrants removed from the truck were treated at the hospital. It was learned that all of the dead were citizens of Afghanistan.
Initial findings indicate that the deceased died from carbon monoxide poisoning, as they inhaled the poorly isolated exhaust gas. Emergency medicine specialist Spas Spaskov, who made a statement to Bulgarian television Nova, said that the people in the truck could get very little oxygen and suffered from dehydration.
The number of irregular migrants passing through Turkey to Bulgaria has been increasing in recent days. Bulgaria has recently increased the controls on the border line with 234 kilometers of barbed wire.
Border police prevented "irregular crossings" of 164,000 people last year, according to data from the Bulgarian Interior Ministry. It was announced that the number registered in 2021 was 55 thousand. The Bulgarian government is also planning to impose tougher penalties to punish human trafficking crimes. People smugglers in the country are usually fined or their prison sentences are suspended.