Seven migrants killed as vehicle crashes in Greece

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The vehicle had been travelling at high speed and the driver lost control as he tried to exit the motorway

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Seven migrants have been killed and eight others injured after the driver of the vehicle they were travelling in lost control and crashed near a motorway toll station in northern Greece, authorities said.

Police said the vehicle carrying 15 people had been travelling on a motorway from the area of Greece’s north-eastern border with Turkey towards the north’s main city of Thessaloniki when it crashed just after midnight.

The vehicle had been travelling at high speed and the driver lost control as he tried to exit the motorway, hitting a toll booth and crashing into a nearby storage container, police said.

The injured were four men from Pakistan, one from Afghanistan and two from Nepal, as well as the 35-year-old Moldovan driver, who police suspect was acting as a smuggler.

They have been transported to hospitals in the north-eastern Greek towns of Xanthi and Komotini.

The seven people killed in the crash included one woman.

Their nationalities were not immediately known, authorities said.

Greece lies along one of the most popular routes into the European Union for people fleeing poverty and conflict in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The most frequently used routes for clandestine entries into Greece are the short but dangerous sea crossing from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands, or crossing the heavily guarded land border between Greece and Turkey.