August 29, 2015

Austria freezer truck deaths: Police confirm 71 refugees including four children suffocated in sealed container

Austria freezer truck deaths: Police confirm 71 refugees including four children suffocated in sealed container

Migrants found dead in | Police have confirmed 71 refugees – including four children – were found dead in the back of a freezer truck in Austria. The bodies were found after a workman mowing the grass on the hard shoulder of the A4 noticed a putrid liquid leaking from the vehicle.

It is thought the bodies had been in the back of the vehicle for around two days and police struggled to verify the number of victims as their bodies were so badly decomposed.

A Syrian travel document was found among the horror and detectives believe the victims may have been from the war-torn country.

Migrants found dead in lorry, Burgenland, AustriaThe victims included 59 men, eight women, three boys aged seven or eight and a female toddler.

It is believed they suffocated in the back of the sealed containter.

Three Bulgarian men were arrested in Hungary this morning in connection with the tragedy.

Channel 4 reporter Lindsey Hilsum Tweeted of a “terrible smell of death” as she passed the vehicle.

Spokesman Peter Doskozil told a press conference the vehicle had been parked on the hard shoulder for at least 24 hours before it was discovered and a Bulgarian-Hungarian human trafficking ring was believed to be behind the deaths.

Austria Lorry deathsGerman chancellor, Angela Merkel, said she was “shaken by the awful news”

She said: “This reminds us that we in Europe need to tackle the problem quickly and find solutions in the spirit of solidarity.

Meanwhile, Austria’s interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner spoke of a “dark day” for the country.

She added the government would take a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach and said the trafficking “mafia” belong “behind bars”

Austria Lorry deathsThe vehicle was towed away from the scene for the bodies to be removed and it is now being examined by forensics officers.

The 7.5-tonne vehicle had previously belonged to Slovakian chicken meat company Hyza and still has the slogan “honest chicken” on the side.

The company said it sold the lorry in 2014.

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