German police found a group of 12 shivering migrants hiding on a freight train near the Austrian border on Wednesday and an officer said the number caught trying to enter Germany illegally was on the rise in the region.
Seven adults and five unaccompanied minors climbed out of the train, traveling from the Italian city of Verona to Munich, after police found them in a spot check using heat detection cameras.
Most of the migrants, who said they were from Somalia, Nigeria and Ivory Coast, were wearing only shorts and T-Shirts and had hidden under lorries transported on the train. One had an injured leg and was unable to walk unaided.
“They’re freezing cold and in a poor physical state,” police spokesman Rainer Scharf said. “We have already called the emergency services because we believe some of them are suffering from hypothermia.”
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has become a magnet for migrants fleeing war, especially in Syria, and poverty in Africa in recent years. Some 890,000 arrived in 2015 after Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the borders to prevent a humanitarian crisis.