The bodies of 18 migrants were found inside a truck on Friday, about twenty kilometers from Sofia, knowing that Bulgaria has been facing an unprecedented influx of migrants since the 2015 crisis for months.
“According to preliminary information, the truck was illegally carrying about forty immigrants, who were hiding under bundles of wood,” the Interior Ministry said. The cause of their death has not been known yet, but the first hypothesis rules out the truck being in an accident.
Residents informed the police of an abandoned truck near the village of Lukorsko, twenty kilometers from the capital, Sofia.
The ministry said that a search is underway for the smugglers who fled, while the injured were taken to hospital.
Bulgaria, which is a gateway to entering the European Union, has seen an increase in the number of clandestine migrants on its soil, despite the presence of a barbed wire fence along its 234-kilometer border with Turkey.
The tragedy is reminiscent of the bodies of 39 Vietnamese found in 2019 in a refrigerated truck near London.
Austria witnessed a similar tragedy in 2019. At that time, police found an abandoned refrigerated truck on the side of a highway in Parndorf, near the Hungarian border, containing the decomposing bodies of 71 migrants, men, women and children.