11 killed in Greece as car car­ry­ing mi­grants col­lides with truck

Bangkok Post - - WORLD -

>> THES­SA­LONIKI: A speed­ing car car­ry­ing mi­grants col­lided with a truck in north­ern Greece yes­ter­day, killing 11 peo­ple, po­lice said.

Ten of the vic­tims were be­lieved to be mi­grants who crossed into the Greece from Turkey. The 11th per­son was the car’s driver and a sus­pected mi­grant smug­gler, po­lice said.

Po­lice said the car in which the mi­grants were packed had an­other ve­hi­cle’s li­cence plates and is sus­pected of hav­ing been used for mi­grant traf­fick­ing. The car hadn’t stopped at a po­lice check­point dur­ing its jour­ney, but it wasn’t im­me­di­ately clear how close to the site of the crash that it hap­pened.

Po­lice said the crash oc­curred just af­ter 5am (9am Thai­land time) near the town of Kavala. The car, which had been head­ing to the main north­ern city of Thes­sa­loniki, col­lided with a truck head­ing in the op­po­site di­rec­tion and burst into flames. All of the vic­tims have been burned be­yond recog­ni­tion. The truck caught fire as well.

All of the peo­ple in the car were killed. The truck driver, a 39-year-old Greek man, was treated for mi­nor in­juries in a hos­pi­tal in north­ern Greece be­fore be­ing dis­charged.

Po­lice said the car was trav­el­ling at high speed and had crossed over to the east­bound lane. The truck driver tried to swerve at the last mo­ment, but couldn’t avoid the col­li­sion.

The car wasn’t trav­el­ling on the high­way con­nect­ing Thes­sa­loniki to the Turk­ish bor­der but on an older road, be­cause there are more po­lice road­blocks on the high­way.

A lo­cal fire­fighter said on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause of the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion that one of the vic­tims was be­lieved to have been a child and that three or four of the oth­ers were in the car’s trunk.

Greek au­thor­i­ties have been see­ing an in­crease in peo­ple il­le­gally cross­ing the Greek-Turk­ish bor­der in re­cent months. Many are trans­ported to Thes­sa­loniki, where they head to po­lice sta­tions to be reg­is­tered and ap­ply for asy­lum.

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