Vietnamese women rescued from refrigerated truck in France

By Phan Anh   September 28, 2023 | 10:59 pm PT
Vietnamese women rescued from refrigerated truck in France
French authorities inspect a truck during an immigration control campaign in La Turbie, France, November 2020. Photo by AFP
Four Vietnamese women were among six rescued from a refrigerated truck in France when they texted a reporter to ask for help.

The women, four from Vietnam and two from Iraq, had spent more than 10 hours in the truck on Wednesday, in an enclosed space with boxes of bananas surrounding them, the Guardian reported, citing the BBC.

They began to panic when they realized the truck was heading in a different direction than they expected. They were hoping to get to either the U.K. or Ireland.

One of the women then managed to text a Vietnamese BBC reporter to request help. She said they were trapped inside the truck and that it was "so cold".

The reporter later determined the women's location on the E15 highway thanks to live GPS sharing. Her colleagues in France then contacted local police, who managed to intercept the truck. The truck's driver has been arrested and an investigation is underway.

Laetitia Francart, a French prosecutor, said the truck driver, who was heading to Italy, was not at fault, the Associated Press reported. The women later confessed that they climbed onto the truck as they thought it was going to England, due to the Irish registration plates.

The women were initially detained for illegal staying in France, but were later released. Four women have been given 30 days to leave France, while the other two were allowed to stay so they could request asylum.

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