Croatia: More than 40 migrants hospitalised after found packed in van

2016-12-18 20:35
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Zagreb - Forty-two migrants were hospitalised after police in Croatia found a van crammed with 67 people, including children, travelling through the country, authorities said on Sunday.

The occupants were suffering from carbon-monoxide poisoning and some were unconscious, doctors said. They were treated in local hospitals and are now out of danger, the country's health minister said.

"It is a serious medical condition and it is good that they were found," minister Milan Kujundzic said in comments carried by the Hina news agency. "Most will be released, but three or four will remain hospitalised for observation."

Kujundzic said two children aged 10 and 12 were among the migrants found in the van. The migrants were cold and hungry, with some saying they hadn't eaten for five days, he said.

Police said they stopped the van with British plates on Saturday evening, near the town of Novska, by the border with Bosnia. Some of the migrants were packed in the van's cargo compartment, police said.

Two Bulgarian citizens are under criminal investigation for smuggling the migrants, the police statement said. It said the van was headed west, toward the capital Zagreb and on toward western Europe.

Thousands of migrants are stranded in neighbouring Serbia looking for ways to reach EU countries Croatia or Hungary. Many turn to people smugglers to take them illegally across the borders.

EU nations have sought to curb the influx after more than 1 million came to Europe in 2015.

Read more on:    croatia  |  migrants
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