Sixty-four people have been found dead in a shipping container on the back of a lorry that that came from Malawi in Mozambique, officials said on Tuesday.
It is suspected that the dead, thought to be Ethiopian, suffocated. The migrants were on a well-known trafficking route to South Africa
Police and immigration authorities stopped the truck en route from Malawi in the early hours of the morning in the province of Tete, bordered by Malawi on one side and Zimbabwe on the other, migration authorities and the police said.
Some of the 14 survivors were hitting the container and screaming, reports the Portuguese newspaper Observador.
Amélia Direito, spokesperson for the National Migration Service in Tete, said the driver had not wanted to stop the vehicle when asked.
The survivors were now being held at an immigration facility, she added.
Many poor migrants travel via Mozambique on their way into South Africa, where they usually hope to find better work.
The driver of the truck told a local TV station that he had been approached in Malawi by an individual who offered him money to take the migrants into Mozambique.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the survivors were being treated for severe dehydration and exhaustion. They are currently at an immigration facility.
The Ethiopian foreign ministry said it had “confirmed through the Ethiopian embassy in South Africa that many Ethiopians travelling inside a vehicle from Malawi to Mozambique have died.” Addis Ababa said it was in working to establish the number of people dead and their identities.
Government spokesman Filmao Suaze said Mozambique, in conjunction with the Ethiopian embassy in the capital, Maputo, had launched an “investigation to bring the responsible to justice.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :