Three migrants die as Greek people-smugglers' van crashes
December 13 2018 05:04 PM


Three migrants were killed in a traffic accident involving a people-smugglers' van on Thursday in northern Greece, meaning that, in the past two months, 16 people have been killed in Greece while trying to flee illegally to wealthier parts of Europe, the daily Proto Thema said.

Many migrants now cross into Greece from Turkey at the River Evros before paying people-smugglers for an illegal ride toward Macedonia. But, when the smugglers spot police, they frequently attempt to flee, risking the lives of their passengers.

In the latest accident, the driver of a van containing nine migrants lost control during a chase when he attempted to avoid another crash that had left an overturned lorry on the road, the local newspaper Naftemporiki said.

The van also overturned and caught fire. Six migrants were injured, the other three burned to death.

In October, 11 migrants were killed in a crash near the port of Kavala, while two others, one of them a four-year-old child, died in two other accidents.

Balkan countries closed their borders to refugees and migrants in 2016, after 10 months during which they had organized safe transport for them from border to border.

Before that, dozens died in accidents or due to the terrible conditions the smugglers subjected them to.

In the worst disaster inland - not counting those drowned in the Mediterranean - 71 people suffocated in a lorry due to take them from Hungary to Austria in August 2015.

A few months earlier, a train killed 13 migrants resting on railroad tracks in a Macedonian gorge.

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