Bodies were already 'decomposing' when police found 50 migrants dead by Austrian roadside
Published 27/08/2015 | 18:35
Dozens of migrants found dead in a lorry in Austria had already begun to decompose before police made the grim discovery.
The bodies of between 20 and 50 migrants where found in a lorry abandoned in a motorway lay-by near the Austrian border with Hungary, authorities said.
Police think those inside were already dead when the truck crossed into Austria, and confirmed to state broadcaster ORF that the bodies appeared partially decomposed.
The country's Krone newspaper said initial indications were that those inside had suffocated to death.
The vehicle - a refrigerated lorry with Hungarian licence plates - was found parked off the A4 motorway between Parndorf and Neusiedl am See.
It has been towed away for forensic examination.
Burgenland province police chief Peter Doskozil said the lorry was abandoned on Wednesday and its back door was left open, exposing the bodies.
A major European summit focusing on migration is currently taking place in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
Tens of thousands of migrants from conflict-hit states in the Middle East and Africa have been trying to make their way to Europe.
Austria's Chancellor Werner Faymann said the tragedy showed once again "how necessary it is to save lives by combating criminals and people traffickers".