Seven people have been killed in a road accident involving a suspected human trafficker, German media have reported.
The incident, which occurred on Germany’s Autobahn 94, is reported to have happened after a van failed to stop at a police checkpoint.
Fleeing federal officers, the van is said to have travelled at “significantly excessive speed” before leaving the road, resulting in it overturning.
Police said that despite the vehicle being designed to carry nine people, 23 passengers were onboard. Of those, seven have now been pronounced dead.
Authorities have been able to confirm that one of those killed was just six years old, while another child believed to be aged 10 was among the injured.
Those involved are believed to have originated in Turkey and Syria.
The suspected driver of the van, who was also injured, has been arrested and charged with murder as well as smuggling causing death.
European plans to curb the mass influx of migrants coming from Tunisia have suffered a major setback as Tunisian President Kais Saied rejected financial support from the European Union. https://t.co/yiNKqJmVPt
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) October 3, 2023
According to Die Welt, the A94 has become a regular route used by human traffickers, with the road connecting Bavaria in Germany to nearby Austria.
Such crashes involving people smugglers have also reportedly increased. Two people were seriously injured recently after another alleged human trafficker attempted to evade the police while transporting migrants.
Speaking about the latest tragedy, Bavaria’s interior minister Joachim Herrmann said that the seven deaths showed how important it was for Germany to tighten its border controls.
“The inhumane behaviour of the smuggler who was injured in the accident and who wanted to evade being stopped by the federal police just to save his own skin is shocking,” he said.
The state recently held elections for its regional parliament, the results of which saw the popularity of the pro-border-control AfD surge.
Elections in the German states of Hesse and Bavaria turned out to be a convincing victory for the centre-right Christian Democrats, with the hard-right AfD also making gains. https://t.co/IhITUPUAUv
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) October 9, 2023