8 Stowaways Sickened After Hiding in U.K. Tanker Truck Carrying Chemicals

Eight suspected illegal immigrants were taken to hospital with breathing difficulties Friday after being found in a tanker carrying chemicals from Germany, emergency officials said.

None was thought to be seriously hurt. Police said all eight — seven boys and men aged 12 to 47 and a 30-year-old woman — were later arrested for suspected immigration offenses. The truck's driver was arrested on suspicion of people-trafficking.

The Metropolitan Police said the stowaways were found when the truck driver apparently stopped to check his load in south London. Police said the eight appeared to have been affected by gas from the cargo, a powdered carbon-based chemical.

Police set up a 100-yard cordon around the truck while firefighters inspected it to determine what chemicals it was carrying.

Police said the driver and the eight immigrants were taken to various south London police stations.