Police have intercepted a ferry boat with at least 25 migrants stowed away in the vessel’s refrigerated container as she was en route to the UK from the Netherlands. All of them are reportedly alive.
Gert Jakobsen, vice president of communications with the Britannia Seaways ferry’s operator DFDS, was cited by The Daily Mail as saying that the refugees were discovered after they made a hole in the container in the early hours of Tuesday.
He added that police and ambulances were waiting at the Dutch port of Vlaardingen as the migrants were taken to hospital for hypothermia.
Wow, another set of at least 25 people found in refrigerated container on UK-bound ferry.— 𝒪𝓁𝓊. (@Olufemiloye) November 19, 2019
39 migrants were found dead in a container heading to the UK just few weeks ago. https://t.co/ycp77FgSPx
“We don't know about the checks. Of course, they were not in a very good condition. Unfortunately this is not the first time we have had such a situation. Of course, it's rare they hide in a refrigerated trailer. But we do find migrants even though we try to prevent it”, he said.
Spokeswoman for Rotterdam police Mirjam Boers, for her part, told the Dutch broadcaster RTL that all the migrants found on the ship were undergoing checks but that she could not comment on the severity of their conditions.
“The highest priority is to check how they’re doing medically […]. This is about human lives and the main thing is that they’re all okay”, she said, adding that could not confirm whether a child was among those found on board the ferry.
There was no immediate word on origins of the migrants, with some reports suggesting that most of them are male.
The A14 at Brampton is closed following reports of concerns for 8 people travelling in a lorry. The lorry has been stopped and emergency services are on scene. Three people are being taken to hospital but no one is believed to be seriously injured. 👉 https://t.co/DvNnbRd7fC pic.twitter.com/FC5Z9BCzHs— Cambs police (@CambsCops) November 19, 2019
The incident occurred on the same day that eight migrants were found in a UK lorry, after fruit was spotted being thrown from the vehicle riding along the A14 road in Cambridgeshire County in eastern England.
Cambridgeshire police said that “three people had been taken to hospital but no one is believed to be seriously injured” as an investigation is expected to be handed to immigration services.
The developments come after Essex police discovered in October the bodies of 39 people frozen to death in a truck that entered the south-eastern England’s county from Belgium.
Five suspects, including the truck driver, were detained, and three of them were later released on bail as an investigation into the tragedy is under way. Earlier this month, the UK police identified all 39 victims which they said were nationals of Vietnam.