Over 60 Illegal Migrants Caught in a Van in Croatia

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Source: Nova Gradiška Radio

Many of them ended up in hospital due to gas poisoning.

Illegal migrants who were on Saturday evening brought in serious condition to a hospital in Nova Gradiška are slowly recovering, reports Večernji List on December 18, 2016.

Around 9 pm, on a motorway near Novska the traffic police stopped a large van with foreign licence plates with 62 people from Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to sources, a police car stopped the van with unusual smoke coming out of it. The smoke entered the van and began to suffocate those inside. Police officers were shocked when he saw the condition of the people in the van and how many of them there were. It is assumed that they had entered Croatia from Serbia illegally. As many as 42 of them needed medical attention due to carbon monoxide poisoning and hypothermia. They apparently had nothing to eat or drink for days.

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Since there is no hospital in Novska, seventeen of them were taken to intensive care units at the hospital in Nova Gradiška. Hospital in Sisak received 11 patients, 8 migrants went to Zagreb, while three migrants were taken to Slavonski Brod and Pakrac. Physicians in the hospital in Nova Gradiška described the dramatic moments when migrants arrived there. All available medical staff was called to the hospital. Some of the arriving migrants were unconscious, bitterly cold, hungry and tired. Three of the patients were children, while others were young men.

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“Patients were visibly exhausted, tired and hungry and were given medical assistance. Overnight their condition improved so on Sunday morning they were released from the hospital accompanied by police”, said director of Sisak hospital Tomislav Dujmenović.

“Four persons were poisoned by carbon monoxide. We have put them in the intensive care unit and they will remain there until their condition improves. Everyone has received appropriate treatment”, said Josip Kolodziej, director of the hospital in Nova Gradiška, whose staff on Saturday night had a very difficult job. The talked with the migrants mainly in English, but also in Arabic, since one of the attending physicians was originally from Syria. Health Minister Milan Kujundžić offered to the Nova Gradiška hospital support from other medical institutions, but they managed do take care of the patients themselves.

“This once again demonstrated the importance of this hospital, which is located near the motorway and which almost daily receives injured people. I am proud of our employees who have done their jobs very professionally”, said Kolodziej.


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