Berlin, Oct 13 (EFE).- At least seven people, including a child, were killed and several others seriously injured after a van driven by a suspected people smuggler crashed on a motorway in southern Germany, officials said.
The van, believed to be carrying undocumented migrants, crashed after the driver tried to evade a police checkpoint on a highway in the southern state of Bavaria, near the border with Austria.
Police believe there were as many as 23 people in the Mercedes Vito, which is designed to carry nine people.
A homicide investigation has been opened, and the driver has been arrested, police said.
All the occupants of the van were injured, some of them seriously, and were taken to nearby hospitals, as was the driver of the Vienna-registered vehicle, police spokesman Stefan Sonntag told “Bild” newspaper.
According to the police, the high number of deaths and injuries suggests that many of the occupants of the vehicle were not wearing seat belts.
Police were still trying to ascertain the nationalities of the people traveling in the van, which had an Austrian registration. EFE