5 Apr 2009

At least 44 suffocate in container in Pakistan

11:36 am on 5 April 2009

The authorities in Pakistan have recovered 44 bodies and dozens of unconscious people from a shipping container.

The truck, carrying the tightly sealed container, was found parked on the outskirts of Quetta in Pakistan's south-west.

It was carrying 150 people, apparently illegal immigrants being transported from Afghanistan to Iran via Pakistan.

Forty-four bodies and 60 barely-alive people have been recovered from the container, with the deaths apparently occurring because of suffocation.

Police say the stench from the container suggests that some of the victims had been dead for days.

Hospital officials say some of the survivors were found unconscious and are still in a critical condition.

The truck's driver is said to have fled on discovering the horrific state of his human cargo.

The truck is reported to belong to a company supplying Nato forces in Afghanistan.