ADDIS ABABA – Sixty-four people, suspected to be Ethiopians, were found dead on Tuesday in a cargo container in Mozambique, media agencies reported.
“A truck transporting illegal immigrants from Malawi, suspected to be Ethiopians, was stopped at the Mussacana weight bridge in Tete, and 64 people were found dead,” a senior health official of Mozambique told AFP.
Fourteen survivors were discovered in the vehicle.
Tete provincial director of health, Carla Mosse, told the BBC that investigations were ongoing to discover how the occupants died – but said asphyxiation was the likely cause of death.
Amélia Direiro, spokesperson for the National Migration Service in Tete, said the driver had not wanted to stop the vehicle when asked.
She explained that her colleagues had heard noises from the lorry and suspected that migrants might be inside.
It is a well-known trafficking route for people hoping to get further south to South Africa.
The 14 survivors will be screened for Covid-19, Direiro said.