Moving Train Kills 14 Migrants in Macedonia

Baku, April 24 AZERTAC

Macedonian police said 14 migrants were killed on Thursday night on the railway line that runs from the central Macedonian town of Veles towards the capital, Skopje.

Authorities said they fear the final death toll might be higher.

According to preliminary reports, about 50 refugees from Middle-Eastern countries were on the railway line at the time when the train came. Because of the darkness and the narrow space along the line not all of them were able to escape the moving train.

The site of the accident is off limits for the media, and police say that due to the inaccessible terrain where the rail line cuts through steep gorges and river valleys, rescue teams have had trouble deploying themselves.

Police say the identities and nationalities of the 14 victims are still unknown.

Eight survivors, believed to be relatives of the deceased, have been picked up at the site of the accident. The rest are believed to have dispersed.

The goal of the refugees, as a BIRN investigation shows, is to use the track, which is part of the Macedonian section of the pan-European Corridor 10, to reach Serbia and then enter the European Union.

Although the track has claimed several dozens of lives, Thursday's was by far the worst tragedy.

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