Police in the European country of Bulgaria have arrested four people after the bodies of 18 Afghan migrants, including a child, were found in a truck near the capital Sofia.
According to the British news agency Reuters, the Bulgarian Interior Ministry said in a statement that the truck found near the village of Lokorsko was carrying illegal immigrants hidden in wood and compartments.
“Some of the migrants suffocated,” the head of the National Investigation Service told reporters.
“The migrants illegally crossed the border into neighboring Turkey and hid in the forest for two days before climbing onto a truck near the southeastern Bulgarian city of Yambol.”
Health Minister Asan Medzhidev said 34 migrants, including five children, were taken to hospitals in Sofia where they are in stable condition.
He said that those trapped in this truck were suffering from a lack of oxygen. They were frozen, they were wet; they had not eaten anything for days.
Atanas Elkov, a senior police official, said one of the four people detained had already been convicted of human trafficking.
He said that charges will be laid when more evidence is found.
Bulgaria is located on the route used by migrants from the Middle East and Afghanistan to enter the European Union.
Most of the migrants do not stay in the country, but often try to get to the rich countries of Western Europe using extensive networks of smugglers.