Police in Austria have found a smuggler’s truck to the south of Vienna containing the dead bodies of migrants. Police spoke of at least 20 initial casualties but warned that number could rise.
The lorry was found standing on the emergency lane and a police believe the deceased most likely suffocated.
German English-language news service DW reports that a police spokesman on the scene told journalists: “We can assume that possibly 20 people have died, it could also be 40 or 50.” The migrants had died quite some time before discovery, he confirmed.
Martin Huber, the district commissioner of Neusiedl, where the truck was found, confirmed that a towing truck had been stopped at the A4 highway. He also confirmed the death of a number of people inside.
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Employees of the infrastructure company Asfinag saw the lorry parked at the highway for a very long time and contacted the police, the DW report said.
Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner espressed regret at the findings and said: “This day is a dark day for us.” She also called for a stop to refugee trafficking within Europe.
Two weeks ago 86 migrants were found in a similar truck on the country’s A1 highway, and 38 were found on the same A4 highway.