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Moroccan migrant found hiding inside a sack of toxic ash by Spanish border guards 

This is the shocking moment a Moroccan migrant was found hiding inside a sack of toxic ash by Spanish border guards. 

Officers in Spain’s north African enclave of Melilla discovered the man on Friday, as the sacks were waiting to be shipped to the mainland. 

Border guards initially thought the man was dead because the ash is poisonous, but soon discovered he was alive after he lashed out at them.   

Footage shows how a Civil Guard officer spotted the man’s leg inside a sack before lifting the limp limb while telling a nearby colleague ‘he’s dead.’ 

The guard can then be heard calling for a knife so he can cut the sack open, while repeating ‘he’s not moving’.

But after the sack was opened up, the man sprang to life and quickly became aggressive with the border guards.

The man can be seen smashing his fist against the metal container where the sacks were being stored, before claiming to officers in broken Spanish that he was asleep.

Spain’s Civil Guard said an ambulance was called for the man, who would likely have died within a few hours if he hadn’t been found.

The sack he was hiding in contained ‘fly ash’, which are fine particles produced by burning coal in power stations.

The ash was being exported to mainland Spain, where it is commonly used in concrete, cement and road repairs.  

A Civil Guard spokesman said: ‘The man was found inside a hermetically-sealed plastic bag which contained incinerated fly ash which is toxic material.

Officers initially thought the man was dead after spotting his leg hanging out of the sack, but discovered he was alive shortly after cutting the bag open as he lashed out at them

‘The officer who carried out the rescue initially observed what appeared to be the lifeless leg of a person, which left him hugely effected emotionally and led to him calling out for an ambulance thinking he was dead.

‘Fortunately he was alive and his life was saved after the bag was fully opened.’

A well-placed source added: ‘This man was almost certainly already in Melilla and would have been helped to get inside the sack outside the port as part of an attempt to reach the Spanish mainland, knowing it was going to be taken to the port and this was his chance to get out of the enclave.

‘If he had been inside much longer it’s highly likely he would have died.

‘He received medical attention but he’s okay now.

‘The police believe he’s Moroccan.’

In September 2019 three Moroccan teenagers were discovered trying to smuggle themselves into Spain after hiding on a passenger ferry to the Costa del Sol.

The stowaways were filmed clinging onto the gangway as the Trans-Mediterranean ferry reached Malaga after a seven-hour journey from Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla.

Disembarking was suspended and police including specialist divers mobilised in case the youngsters, aged 16 to 18, jumped or fell into the sea.

They ended up being retained on board the ferry, called the Ciudad Autonoma Melilla, and taken to a police station to be identified.

The man was found inside the sack in Melilla, a Spanish enclave in northern Africa, before it was shipped to the mainland

Footage showed police surrounding the gangway on dry land as the migrants were perched precariously on its structure high in the air.

The ferry they were hiding on had capacity for 1,000 passengers and 330 cars.

Two years earlier three Moroccans and two Algerians were discovered hiding on top of the engines of a fast ferry covering the same route between Melilla and Malaga.

One of the men turned out to be a minor who had escaped days earlier from a children’s centre in Melilla.

Police in Melilla said 41 people trying to reach the Spanish mainland as stowaways were found in hiding places including lorries and containers that were going to end up on ships leaving the North African enclave on Friday alone.

They said four were found in containers containing shards of glass for recycling ahead of a ‘dangerous’ seven-hour sea journey.

Melilla is one of Spain’s two North African enclaves. The other is Ceuta.

Combustion at municipal solid waste incineration plants produces millions of tons of fly ash globally.

It is mostly placed in landfills after a stabilisation process or stored in hazardous waste sites.

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