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Seven refugees die in minibus crash in north-eastern Greece

LESBOS, GREECE - SEPTEMBER 26: Refugees wait in a queue at the entrance of a temporary camp as they and their belongings are checked by police officers before settling in after the Moria refugee camp became unuseable following fires that erupted on September 9, in the Greek island of Lesbos, on September 26, 2020. ( Ayhan Mehmet - Anadolu Agency )
Refugees wait in a queue at the entrance of a temporary camp as they and their belongings are checked by police officers before settling in after the Moria refugee camp became unuseable following fires that erupted on September 9, in the Greek island of Lesbos, on September 26, 2020. [Ayhan Mehmet - Anadolu Agency]

At least seven refugees died in north-eastern Greece when a minibus carrying them crashed early on Friday, local media and Anadolu News Agency report.

The vehicle carrying 15 people was travelling on the Egnatia Odos highway from the country's north-eastern border with Turkey towards the northern port city of Thessaloniki when it crashed just after midnight, said Greek public broadcaster ERT, citing local police sources.

Police said that the vehicle had been travelling at high speed and that the driver, also thought to be a human smuggler, lost control as he tried to exit the highway, hitting a toll booth and then crashing into an adjoining storage container, ERT noted.

The victims of the crash were transported to public hospitals in the north-eastern provinces of Komotini and Xanthi, including eight people—one of them being the driver—who had been injured.

A preliminary investigation has been launched into the incident, added ERT.

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