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(Volkskrant) Emergency services find 18 refugees in a sea container in Rotterdam harbor

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Friday, 07 September 2018


Emergency services find 18 refugees in a sea container in Rotterdam harbor

On Friday evening, emergency services have liberated eighteen refugees from a sea container in Rotterdam's Waalhaven. It concerns sixteen men and two women. According to a spokesperson for the Rotterdam-Rijnmond Safety Region, one person was 'not approachable' and was immediately transported to the hospital.

Emergency services pick up the refugees from the container where they were detained. Foto Arie Kievit
At the end of the afternoon, one of the stowaways had called 112 with the message that they were sitting with several people in a container somewhere in the Rotterdam port area and that there was an emergency situation: they could not get out. 'There are a lot of containers here, so we first thought: wow, that's a kind of pin in the haystack', according to the Spokesman for the Safety Region.

As a precaution, the emergency services flew out massively. A trauma helicopter was also called. The police tried to find the location of the container with special equipment. A drone team from the fire brigade also helped. After more than an hour, the police could trace the location of the container via the caller's mobile.

The police stopped the driver of the truck carrying the container. It is a 43-year-old man from Romania. The truck with trailer is included for research. 

Around 7 pm Friday evening the refugees, with an African appearance, were removed from the container. According to a witness on the spot, 17 people could reach a building of the port customs on foot; one was removed per stretcher. He said that it probably concerns people from Eritrea, but a Spokesman for the Security Region could not confirm that.

The refugees, some of whom were clearly weakened, were medically examined by the ambulance staff. According to the spokesperson, the condition of the person who was transported to the hospital also seemed to 'fall'.

Presumably the refugees tried to get to England via the container on a ship. That is not for the first time. In 2016 there were 509 'incidents involving foreigners' in the port of Rotterdam, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb replied to questions from the city council at the beginning of last year. That was much more than in previous years.

A spokesman for the Port of Rotterdam said Friday that it has been quiet since the beginning of last year. For example, barricades with barbed wire have been laid out close to the quay for ferry services to England.

According to Transport and Logistics Netherlands (TLN), it seems that refugees are increasingly diverting to the interior as a result of the tighter controls in the major seaports on the coast. For example, 32 foreigners were arrested last week at and near the industrial park in Moerdijk. Parking spaces along the A12 at Bodegraven and the A15 at Geldermalsen, where many trucks arrive, are also popular with 'climbers' according to TLN. 

Hulpdiensten vinden 18 vluchtelingen in zeecontainer in Rotterdamse haven
One of the refugees was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
One of the refugees was taken to the hospital by ambulance. © MediaTV
The refugees are taken away.
The refugees are taken away. © MediaTV
There are at least ten people in the container.
There are at least ten people in the container. © MediaTV
There are many emergency services on site.
There are many emergency services on site. © MediaTV
© AD
Ambulances drive onto the terrain.
Ambulances drive onto the terrain. © AD

Driver (43) of container full of refugees arrested

VIDEOThe police arrested the driver who transported the container to the Waalhaven in Rotterdam with 18 refugees. The migrants were taken out of a refrigerated container earlier this evening after they made an emergency report to 112. The people - 16 men and 2 women - were approachable, a person was taken to the hospital. 

Chauffeur (43) van container vol vluchtelingen aangehouden

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