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Seven killed after 'smuggler's minibus' crashes in Germany to avoid police checks

Police officers work at an accident site near an overturned mini bus on the motorway near Waldkraiburg in south, eastern Germany in October 13, 2023.
Police officers work at an accident site near an overturned mini bus on the motorway near Waldkraiburg in south, eastern Germany in October 13, 2023. Copyright CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP
Copyright CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP
By Euronews, AFP
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Local police reported that seven people died and several others were injured after an overloaded vehicle suspected of transporting migrants across the border between Austria and Germany overturned after fleeing police checks.

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Seven people were killed and several others injured when a minibus in Bavaria, southern Germany, crashed overnight on Thursday.

Police say the Mercedes Vito minibus, which was registered in Austria, was accelerating in an attempt to escape a police check on the road. 

The vehicle is suspected to have been transporting migrants into Germany. It was carrying 23 passengers, including children, and was headed towards Munich.

The incident happened on the highway about 50 kilometres from the border between Austria and Germany, local police said in a press release. Police checks were introduced on the highway because of a recent surge in illegal immigration at the border between the two countries.

After fleeing police checks, the overloaded vehicle overturned at an intersection between the Bavarian municipalities of Ampfing and Waldkraiburg around 01:15 CET.

Police photos show the heavily damaged vehicle stuck on a highway guardrail.

"The driver and the suspected smuggler are among the injured," the same police source confirmed.

The nationality and identity of the seven passengers killed are still unknown, according to authorities. Those injured were taken to nearby hospitals.

German police have opened an investigation for murder.

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