Van Carrying Migrants Crashes in Police Chase at Slovak-Austrian Border

(Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 9 (TASR) – A van carrying illegal migrants from Iraq, Syria and Iran crashed near the Jarovce-Kittsee crossing on the Slovak-Austrian border on Saturday morning after a Slovak police patrol attempted to halt the vehicle that seemed suspect, Police Corps spokesman Michal Slivka told TASR later in the day.

Several persons, including children, suffered injuries in the crash.

“It was a van carrying illegal migrants from Hungary through Slovakia to Austria. The driver of the suspect vehicle disregarded special warning and sound signals and the ‘STOP’ light signal [by the police] and speeded up the vehicle rapidly instead. He attempted to escape the patrol at a speed exceeding 160 kilometres per hour, thereby endangering other traffic participants. The police patrol had to use warning shots into the air several times. The fleeing vehicle eventually turned over at high speed,” said Slivka.

Apart from the driver, the van was carrying eight people, including five children. All of the passengers were given emergency medical assistance and some of them were transported to Bratislava hospitals.

The youngest infant was only five months old, the oldest child was around ten years old. All five children from the car were admitted to the Children’s Faculty Hospital in Bratislava, said hospital spokesperson Dana Kamenicka.

“One child had to undergo an operation,” said Kamenicka, adding that the most frequent injuries with the children included concussions, lacerations and contusions.

An adult woman was due to undergo a surgery at the Antolska Street hospital later on Saturday. Her condition wasn’t life-threatening, however. Another two adults were treated with minor injuries at Kramare before being released.

The driver, who wasn’t identified, was arrested and is now facing charges of human smuggling, battery and endangering of the general public. He can spend ten years in prison if convicted.