Police uncover hidden stowaways in Melilla

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© Guardia Civil
One of the youngsters trapped among wreckage.

GUARDIA CIVIL forces in the North African enclave of Melilla have rescued 15 children from a “tub full of junk”, and detained a further 58 minors, all of whom are thought to have been planning to cross the Strait of Gibraltar as stowaways on commercial ships.

The youngsters were of Maghrebi origin, with none in possession of identifying documents, and they were unearthed by a team of security and customs officers during an inspection of port facilities.

While conducting the survey, officials became aware of a suspicious, scrap-filled container, and immediately scrambled a rescue team due to the weight and instability of the waste metal inside.

Using a portable heartbeat detector they were able to extract the children from among the dangerous, sharp-edged debris without any injuries, before placing them into custody of Melilla social services.

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