25 people found in a refrigerated container on a ferry to Britain

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They would be boarded on a semi-trailer (illustration). – SICCOLI PATRICK / SIPA

Twenty-five migrants were found Tuesday in a refrigerated container on a Dutch ferry that was heading to Britain and had to turn around, police and Dutch rescue services said.

The stowaways, whose origin was not specified, received medical care at the port of Vlaardingen, near Rotterdam (south), and two of them were hospitalized for possible hypothermia, according to these sources. The remaining 23 were taken to a police station after undergoing their medical examination. This discovery comes a few weeks after that of 39 Vietnamese who died in a refrigerated truck at the end of October in Great Britain.

"Once on board, it turned out that several people were found in a refrigerated container. The ship has returned to the port, "the emergency services in the Rotterdam region said on Twitter. "The 25 people got off the ship and received the medical care they needed. Earlier, a message from the ship indicated that no one was dead. Police dogs explored the ship but found no other migrants.

"People are so desperate that they keep trying"

The vessel belongs to the company DFDS Seaways. The latter reported that the migrants had boarded a semi-trailer, according to the newspaper From Telegraaf. The driver of the truck was arrested, says the daily. Many ambulances and rescue vehicles were on site, according to Dutch media reports. A bus drove stowaways, mostly men, to police buildings.

"More and more" migrants are trying to cross the Channel and have not been discouraged by the macabre discovery of 39 Vietnamese dead in a refrigerated truck in late October, said Vlaardingen Mayor Annemiek Jetten. "I think people are so desperate that they keep trying, despite the recent tragic events in Britain," she told NOS television. Meanwhile, the Dutch border police intercepted Tuesday a bus carrying 65 Moldovans, including children, who wanted to seek asylum in the Netherlands, according to local media.

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