Police in Geel in Antwerp province have freed eight migrants from an abandoned refrigerated truck after receiving an emergency call from the captives themselves.
“It all started with an emergency call from inside the refrigerated truck,” said Joris Jutten of the local police zone. “Someone was calling the emergency number to say they were locked in.”
The police used information from GSM masts to locate the source of the call – a container park on Geel’s western ring-road. There, police found a truck registered in Spain. With the help of the fire service, they broke the truck open and found eight migrants numb with the cold.
The eight migrants, all adults, were taken to hospital. Six were later released while two were given additional treatment for hypothermia.
“The eight stowaways, all adults, are for the time being at the police station,” Jutten said. “There were no children or pregnant women among them. We are guessing they come from the Middle East, but that will be for further investigation to confirm. We’ve taken everyone’s fingerprints and photos, and will send the information over to the Foreigners Service.”
Police will also now try to trace the driver of the truck, who was nowhere to be seen. And from there, to tracing the human traffickers responsible for bringing the migrants into the country and for exposing them to the danger of leaving them in a refrigerated lorry.