Illegal Migrants Discovered in Europe-Bound Containers of Broken Glass, Toxic Ash

MELILLA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 21. A Spanish policeman stands next to his car as he patrol the fence that separates the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco is seen on October 21, 2005 at the border with Morocco in Melilla, Spain. After Melilla was sieged by hundreds of migrants, several …
Getty Images

AP, MADRID — Spanish authorities say they have found and rescued 41 migrants in the past four days who tried to reach continental Europe from North Africa, some of them hiding inside a container of discarded glass bottles and a bag of toxic ash.

Among the 35 people found only on Friday trying to travel to Europe from the Spanish port of Melilla, an enclave in North Africa, four hid among bottles and other glass partially broken in pieces and with sharp edges that were destined for recycling, the Spanish Civil Guard said Monday.

A video released by the police also shows another incident in which an officer first finds a motionless leg sticking out of a large plastic bag containing ash from the city’s incinerator, a material that is considered highly toxic. When the agent starts removing the ash, the alleged stowaway seems to recover consciousness.

The port of Melilla, where trucks and containers embark on a trip to Spain that can take up to seven hours, is together with the nearby Ceuta enclave a target for many migrants trying to reach the European mainland.

Some of them try to enter the fenced area of the harbor by swimming there or by hiding in vehicles, in some cases jumping on to them when they slow down or stop at the gates of the port.

The Civil Guard says that it found 11,700 people last year inside the Melilla port’s security perimeter and that in 2021 so far, the figure has reached 1,781 migrants.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.