18 Dead After Truck Packed With Afghan Migrants Abandoned in Bulgaria

Bulgarian authorities have arrested multiple suspects after more than 50 Afghan migrants were found trapped inside an abandoned truck last week, according to reports.

The horrifying discovery was made on Friday near Sofia.

Police came upon a cargo truck on a highway outside the capital city and during a search, located dozens of people in a secret compartment behind a load of lumber.

In total, 52 migrants from Afghanistan had been crammed into a space designed to hold 25-30 people.

While 34 migrants were hospitalized with various injuries, 18 suffocated to death inside the vehicle.

Authorities say "greedy" smugglers lined the compartment with foil to thwart thermal imaging scanners and planned to smuggle the Afghans from the Turkish border to the Serbian border, a journey of at least 225 miles.

"The traffickers were paid between 5,000 and 7,000 euros via the hawala system. The driver took 100 euros per person and the leader - around 1,000 euros per person," Radio Bulgaria reports.

"After Trayanova Vrata mountain pass, the traffickers heard a thumping sound, but did not stop. The victims suffocated for between 30 and 60 minutes. Outside Sofia, the pounding intensified. The drivers stopped. Seeing the suffocating migrants and understanding that there were casualties, they fled."

Among the deceased was a child of around 7 years of age, and at least five more children were brought to local hospitals for treatment.

"The victims died slowly and painfully,” said Borislav Safarov, head of Bulgaria's National Investigative Service.

“This case shows an extreme callousness and demonstrates that migrants are seen only as goods that need to be shipped from one place to another, irrespective of whether they are alive or dead."

At least eight suspects have been arrested thus far, including one man who was reportedly apprehended by Greek authorities at the Turkish border.

Bulgarian authorities have determined the truck made several treks along the same route in recent months, but it is unclear if those trips were tied to migrant smuggling.

An investigation is ongoing.

Last year, two Bulgarian police officers were killed when a bus carrying dozens of illegal migrants from Syria slammed into their patrol car in the seaside city of Burgas.

Infowars frequently highlights the horrors of rampant human smuggling and trafficking in Europe.

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(PHOTO: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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