No fewer than 64 suspected undocumented migrants from Ethiopia were found dead on Tuesday in a cargo container in Mozambique’s northwest Tete province, a senior hospital official said.
“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. Only 14 survived,” the official, who asked not to be named because he does not have the authority to speak to the media, told AFP.
“The cause of death is presumed to be asphyxiation.”
The victims were discovered in a blue cargo container loaded on to a haulage truck, according to pictures seen by AFP.
Mozambique is generally seen as a smuggling corridor for migrants seeking to make their way to South Africa.
South Africa — the continent’s most industrialised country — is a magnet for poor migrants not only from neighbouring countries such as Lesotho and Zimbabwe but even nations further afield, such as Ethiopia.