Society 22/02/2021

Coming to Europe hidden among glass and toxic ash

Police locates five people hidden in recycling containers in the port of Melilla

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MartorellThe police pressure at the border and desperation forces migrants to seek new ways. The Spanish police has found five men hidden in containers of glass and toxic ash which was being taken to a recycling plant. The men were trying to reach the Peninsula from the port of Melilla, where they had managed to circumvent security to enter the free zone of the enclosure and sneak into the area of waste that is sent to mainland Spain to be treated.

Police sources have explained to this newspaper that an officer detected a leg sticking out of a sack full of toxic ash from Melila's incinerator. At first the agent thought it was a corpse because it was not moving, but once he opened the bag, the man reacted, as seen in the video. "He was totally disoriented by having breathed the toxic ash, he did not know where he was," explained the same source.

In a nearby area, an agent located four men inside a container completely covered by shattered glass ready to be recycled, with the risk it would entail in a possible rough crossing that lasts about seven hours. In spite of the seriousness of the situation, the five men were attended to by medical services, did not need hospital admission and were handed over to the police.

In a first visual search during the routine fiscal control that is done to all the goods that are sent to the Peninsula, 35 people were found hidden inside the trailers of trucks or containers, and in a second more exhaustive review, the five who had hidden in more dangerous places were located.

Last year in the security zone of the port of Melilla 11,669 people were located, and in these first months of 2021 the number already stands at 1,781.

According to the police, there are various strategies used to access this area of the port. Some swim in and others run next to a truck to hang beneath the trailer or climb in. Others have also hidden in secret compartments in vehicles or in containers, as was the case on Friday.