Luanda - Sixteen migrants from the Democratic Republic of Congo died and three were seriously injured when the truck they were hiding in flipped over on a road in Angola, regional police said Sunday.
All 19 were undocumented immigrants and had been travelling from the border post of Soyo to the capital Luanda when the accident occurred in the northern town of N'zeto late Saturday.
“The truck was transporting cases of empty beer bottles in a container where the migrants were hiding, and it flipped over,” police chief Andre Massota of Zaire province told AFP.
“The victims died of injuries and asphyxiation,” he said, adding that police needed at least two hours to open the container and managed to save three people, including a 30-year-old woman, who all had serious injuries.
Police said the migrants had paid the driver $200 (150 euros) for the ride. The driver fled after the accident, Massota said.
Angola's Zaire province, which borders the DR Congo, has recently seen a surge in undocumented migrants.
More than 30 migrants, most of whom came from the DR Congo, have been driven back to the border in the past two weeks, according to local officials. - Sapa-AFP