GARDAI are searching for a group of refugees who hid in a trailer and fled when they were discovered in County Laois.
The incident happened in the Meelick area on the outskirts of Portaloise.
The driver of the truck stopped the vehicle at 6.50pm.
When he emerged from the vehicle and opened the doors of the trailer, a number of people bolted past him and ran from the area.
A search began soon after, which included a garda helicopter, as gardai expressed concern for welfare of the people.
Gardai continue the search today and may bring trained sniffer dogs to Co Laois to assist.
It is unclear how many individuals fled from the truck, or their ages, gender or nationality.
The driver claimed he had no knowledge of anyone being in his trailer.