Cops: How Truck-Tragedy Migrants Met Their End

Police reveal results of early forensic testing
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2015 6:00 PM CDT
Cops: Here's How the 71 Truck Migrants Likely Died
Two men, second right and centre rear, accused of being involved in the trafficking of the 71 migrants found dead in a truck in Austria, at a court in Kecskemet Hungary on Saturday Aug. 29, 2015.   (AP Photo/Pablo Gorondi)

The migrants found dead in an abandoned truck in Austria appear to have died by suffocation under horribly tight conditions. Relying on early forensic tests, police say the 71 victims—including three children and a baby girl—ran out of air while packed five people per 10 square feet, Reuters reports. The refrigeration truck was designed to transport meat and apparently had no air holes. "We are still awaiting the final report from the forensic team, but it looks like they suffocated," says a police spokesman. Meanwhile, police in neighboring Hungary have detained five people in connection with the deaths who could face 16-year sentences for human trafficking, the Wall Street Journal reports. The migrants are thought to be from Syria or Afghanistan.

The tragic incident—and the massive flow of migrants moving through Europe—has put added pressure on officials to find solutions, Yahoo News reports. With Britain, France, and Germany pushing for a faster response, it was announced today that European Union home-affairs ministers will meet on Sept. 14 in Brussels. So far, European governments have talked about tougher trafficking laws and measures designed to dissuade migrants from attempting the trip without "a well-founded asylum claim," the Journal says. Meanwhile, authorities found a five-year-old and two one-year-olds critically ill in a van in Austria along with 23 other migrants. Hospitalized for dehydration, the children "were stable enough to be able to make the decision to leave the hospital," a doctor says. (More migrants stories.)

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