At least 18 people have died from lack of air inside the truck in which they were locked up and which was abandoned about 25 kilometers from Sofia, sources from the Ministry of the Interior informed EFE today.
The Police found inside the vehicle 40 irregular immigrants, of which 18 had died of suffocation, locked in a false compartment under a load of wood.
According to statements from some of the survivors, the human smugglers simply abandoned the truck for unknown reasons and escaped.
The Emergency Medical Relief Service told the bTV station that the rest of the truck’s occupants have been taken to hospitals in Sofia and that fourteen of them are in critical condition.
"We assume that the immigrants were transported from the Bulgarian-Turkish border to the area around the city of Dragoman to then cross into Serbia"a source from the Ministry of the Interior told EFE.
The authorities have not yet reported the nationality of the immigrants.
Bulgaria, a member of the European Union but not of the Schengen zone of free movement, is part of the route by which migrants and refugees try to get through Turkey, Serbia and other Balkan countries to rich countries in Western Europe.