Report: Over 70 Decomposing Bodies Found in Truck on Austrian Highway

Police arrested the driver of a truck after over 70 decomposing bodies were found in his vehicle.

The Guardian reported:

Hungarian police have arrested the driver of a lorry found on an Austrian motorway with the decomposing bodies of 71 people, including a baby girl, inside.

Three Bulgarians and an Afghan man have been detained, police said. Detectives have also questioned almost 20 people and searched homes, they added. Earlier Austrian police said the lorry owner was a Bulgarian citizen of Lebanese origin.

The death toll was raised on Friday from initial estimates of 20 to 50 following the discovery of the remains on Thursday morning on Austria’s A4 motorway between Neusiedl and Parndorf. The truck, which had been abandoned on the hard shoulder of the road near Parndorf, had apparently been there since Wednesday. Austrian police said all those on board appeared to have suffocated and died before they entered the country.

Austrian police said of the 71 dead, 59 were men, eight women and four children, including a baby girl. The girl was between one and two. The three other children were boys, aged between eight and ten.

At a news conference in the town of Eisenstadt, Hans Peter Doskozil, police chief for the province of Burgenland, said one Syrian travel document had been found among the victims but that it was too early to say from which countries the entire group had come.

“We currently have three people under arrest in Hungary… and expect that that this is the trace that will lead us to the perpetrators,” Doskozil told reporters, making clear that the people being held were not ring leaders.

The lorry set off from Budapest in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and reached the Hungarian-Austrian border by 9am. It crossed into Austria that night and was spotted on the A4 at 5am or 6am on Thursday, police said.

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