7 killed, several injured in suspected migrant bus crash in Germany

The minibus had an Austrian license plate with 23 people cramped inside


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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Fri 13 Oct 2023, 3:01 PM

Seven people including a child were killed and several others injured early Friday after a minibus believed to be packed with migrants crashed trying to evade a German road check.

Police said a Mercedes Vito minibus with Austrian license plates and 23 people cramped inside tried to avoid the check some 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the border between Austria and Germany as it drove toward Munich.

The driver lost control of the vehicle, which flipped over several times before landing on its side.

Authorities said they believe a "people smuggler" was at the wheel and have opened a criminal investigation into the crash in the Bavaria region on suspicion of homicide.

"A six-year-old child was among the dead," police spokesman Stefan Sonntag told AFP but could not comment on the victim's sex or nationality.

"The driver and suspected people smuggler survived and is among those injured."

Sonntag said the preliminary indications were that the passengers in the vehicle were Syrian and Turkish nationals, with the driver described as "stateless".

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Some of the 16 people injured were in a serious condition and being treated in local hospitals, with other children believed among the victims.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, who has launched a drive against illegal immigration, said she was "shocked" by the deadly crash "involving suspected people smuggling".

"This terrible event shows the cruel and inhumane way smugglers put people's lives at risk," she said in a statement.

"My deepest sympathy goes out to the victims. My thoughts go out especially to the children who were penned in the vehicle."


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