Eight Migrants Found Dead in Libya

Eight migrants died in Libya after suffering suffocation in a refrigerator truck.

Eight migrants died in Libya from suffocation in a refrigerator truck.

By Chuma Kisu

According to international news services, eight migrants including six children were reported as found dead on Monday, July 16, 2018 after suffocating from petrol fumes while packed into a lorry container on the west Libyan coast.

Another 90 migrants recovered from the container were in critical condition and had been taken to a local hospital for treatment. This is according to the security directorate in the town of Zuwara in northwestern Lybia.

Zuwara is one of the points along Libya’s western coastline where smugglers and traffickers hold migrants before putting them on boats to try to cross to Europe.

The migrants were from various sub-Saharan African and Arab countries. The group also included citizens from Pakistan and Bangladesh according to reports. They had been shut inside a refrigerated container designed for transporting meat or fish which was found just outside Zuwara, close to the Mellitah oil and gas complex. Zuwara is about 68 miles from the capital, Tripoli.

“As a result of the length of time they were suffocated, eight of them died including six children, one woman and a young man,” the security directorate said, adding that gallons of petrol had been found in the container.

It posted pictures of at least nine plastic jerry cans inside the container, as well as a pile of life-jackets apparently intended for use in a boat crossing.

Daytime temperatures in northwest Libya have been in the mid to high 86 degrees in recent days.

Smugglers and traffickers took advantage of Libya’s civil unrest to send hundreds of thousands of migrants to Italy over the past four years. Flows have slowed since last summer due to an Italian-backed crackdown on smuggling networks.

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