Syrian Kurdish refugee Sinamid Zahreddine, born in Aleppo in 1984, recounted the experience of arriving in the UK in a “refrigerated truck” campaigned from the French city of Calais with a group of Iranians and Afghans.
“For two weeks, while in the French city, he tried to escape in different trucks, but all of them failed, because the trucks were dedicated to transporting textiles and scanners could easily detect people,” Zahruddin told the BBC.
“The despair of Zahruddin after five failed escape attempts took the words of one of the smugglers, who convinced him to escape in a vegetable refrigeration truck, which even dogs cannot find out,” he said.
“The price of a head or one head, as used to be used by smugglers of Arab nationalities, ranged from $ 1,000 to $ 2,000, but now it is $ 5,000 to $ 6,000,” according to the Syrian refugee.
“He was in the truck with 22 Afghans and two Iranians, including two women, a 15-year-old girl and two 17-year-old boys,” Zahruddin said.
“We walked cautiously and quietly into the giant truck that was carrying pear fruit, so I felt a little comfortable because it was not a fridge for meat and fish that could be below 18 degrees Celsius.”
Zahran al-Din continued describing the truck, saying that “the width of two meters and a length of 15 meters, and the height was not more than (50 cm), and we remained lying on our backs without sound or movement such as pencils for 6 hours.”
“We were all shaking because of the cold,” Zahruddin said. “We didn’t see each other’s faces because of the darkness.
“The truck driver discovered them when the children started to cough and sneeze after their condition worsened,” the refugee continued, noting that “he was brought back with others to the city of Calais from which they started, while a number of them were transferred to hospitals for treatment.”
“The smugglers told us the next night that the cucumber pickup truck was on its way to the UK tonight, but after the previous experiment, 14 people retreated from the trip and only eight of them were on board,” Zahreddine said.
Zahruddin added: “My condition and those with me in the truck was like the spirit out of the body and we can no longer tolerate the low temperature, until we discovered the driver of the truck.”
The Syrian refugee and his accomplices discovered they were in British territory when a number of police opened the truck door and started speaking English.
Zahruddin hoped that “no one will do the same adventure he fought,” saying that “his survival was a coincidence, what happened was terrible, painful and fatal.”
It is noteworthy that the Syrian refugee decided to recount his experience after British police found 39 bodies on 23 October last in a truck believed to have come from Bulgaria, while the driver (25 years), a native of Northern Ireland was arrested for murder.
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