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Stowaways found under hundreds of kilos of junk 

PAGE 18 Stowaways found under  hundreds of kilos of junk

Eight illegal immigrants were found hidden under a lorry’s pile of junk in another attempt to get into Europe.

Police said they were lucky to be alive as they risked being killed or at least seriously injured by the hundreds of kilos of scrap iron.

“This method is very dangerous due to the instability of the load, its weight and the multiple edges and sharp objects,” said a spokesman for the Spanish Civil Guard.

All eight stowaways were men and of North African origin. They were discovered in the port of Melilla as the lorry waited to get on a ferry.

Police had to use a heartbeat machine because their hiding place in “nests” under the junk were not visible to the naked eye. On this occasion, they had used an old wooden door to act as a “ceiling” with the scrap metal above.

The authorities say the thousands of migrants who try to get across the border from Africa into Spain are very aware of where the vehicles park overnight and hide themselves under the loads whilst the drivers are away.

“For this, they use rudimentary materials such as a piece of wood or a piece of metal sheet as a roof,” said the spokesman. “They hide and wait overnight until the vehicle is loaded the next day and then leaves the port.”

“Their hiding space is so small and dangerous and they can remain there for many hours or even days.”

Police say getting the immigrants out is also dangerous for the officers involved.

All eight were rescued and taken to a holding camp for processing.