Bodies of Migrants Found Rotting in Truck in Austria

There could be as many as 50 victims, police say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 27, 2015 9:37 AM CDT
Bodies of Migrants Found Rotting in Truck in Austria
Investigators stand near a truck that stands on the shoulder of the A4 highway near Parndorf, south of Vienna, in Austria today.   (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Police today discovered the partially decomposed bodies of at least 20 migrants piled up in a truck parked on the shoulder of an Austrian highway leading from the Hungarian border. The chief of Burgenland police, Hans Peter Doskozil, says the truck has Hungarian license plates. The state of the bodies made establishing the identity and exact number of dead migrants difficult, but the total number could rise to 50, says Doskozil. It's believed the migrants suffocated, the Guardian reports, via the Krone newspaper.

Doskozil adds the truck was apparently abandoned yesterday and its back door was left open. Police ordered reporters converging on the scene, about 25 miles southeast of Vienna, to move away from the vehicle, a white refrigeration truck with images of food items on it. One reporter on the scene describes a "terrible smell of death." "Human smugglers are criminals," Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner says, condemning the traffickers. "Those who still think that they are gentle helpers of refugees are beyond saving." (More migrants stories.)

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