Six migrants died in a crash in northern Greece Monday when their smugglers, trying to evade detection, overturned the vehicle they were in, a police source said.
The vehicle, transporting 16 men in total, skidded and overturned as the smugglers sought to avoid a police checkpoint near the border with Turkey.
Police have not provided the victims” identities or countries of origin.
Six of the men were confirmed dead on arrival at the hospital in Alexandroupoli, with a seventh hospitalised with serious injuries.
The smugglers, a Bulgarian and an Algerian, fled after the crash but have since been apprehended, the source said.
Earlier this month, Greece urged the EU for a fairer sharing of the migrant burden amid deep concern over a sharp increase in arrivals on some islands.
The government said a new “corridor” had been created by traffickers between the island of Samothraki and the northeastern town of Alexandroupoli on the mainland, near the border with Turkey.