Stowaways rescued from shipping container
20 July 2005, BRUSSELS — Three illegal immigrants were rescued from a shipping container in Zeebrugge on Thursday after they dialled the emergency 112 number with a mobile phone.
20 July 2005
BRUSSELS — Three illegal immigrants were rescued from a shipping container in Zeebrugge on Thursday after they dialled the emergency 112 number with a mobile phone.
The immigrants told authorities they were in a shipping container on a train that had come to a stop. After that, the line then went dead.
The call centre in Brugge alerted emergency authorities and the three Moldavians were rescued from a container was en route from Milan to Ireland and had already been loaded onto a ship.
They were suffering from extreme dehydration and were admitted to hospital. All of them will recover, newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad' reported on Wednesday.
But the Brugge public prosecution office said the three stowaways — two women aged 26 and 31 and a 29-year-old man — would not have survived the trip to Ireland if they had not called the alarm number.
The shipping container had been loaded with marble sheets and was already loaded onto a ship. Other containers had already been placed on top of the container and the ship's hatches had been closed.
After the caller raised the alert in broken Italian at about 2pm on Thursday, the alarm centre investigated the call and found that it came from an Italian mobile phone. It was also known that the call came from West Flanders.
Putting together various data revealed that a train from Milan had come to a stop in Zeebrugge. The train was loaded with containers destined for Britain and Ireland.
Several containers had already been shipped out, but three containers were still in Zeebrugge. These containers were already loaded onto a ship by the time the fire brigade arrived and the ship was due to depart at 9pm on a sea journey that would last several days.
The three Moldavians were rescued from one of the containers and diagnosed to be suffering from extreme dehydration. They were admitted to hospital and have since been placed in the custody of the immigration service DVZ.
The Brugge prosecution office said the three illegal immigrants would not have survived the trip to Ireland if they'd not had a mobile phone.
They had been seated since Saturday in a locked and dark metal crate with little room to move. It is suspected they were smuggled into the container in Italy.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news