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The death toll in a truck full of bodies found in Austria is 71, much worse than feared

AP Photo/Ronald Zak
The truck bore the logo of a meat producer.
  • Hanna Kozlowska
By Hanna Kozlowska

Investigative reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

When Austrian authorities first discovered a truck filled with decomposing bodies abandoned on the hard shoulder of a highway near the Hungarian border on Thursday (Aug. 27), even the grimmest estimates put the death toll at 50. The latest examination now puts the number at 71, including three young boys and one girl.

The authorities found a Syrian passport among the dead, and said the people likely suffocated in the back of the refrigerated truck. Three people have been arrested in connection with the case, and authorities are searching for at least one other. An initial investigation by Austrian and Hungarian authorities indicates that they were part of a wider Bulgarian-Hungarian trafficking ring.

Meanwhile, up to 200 bodies were found off the coast of Libya, after a boat carrying migrants capsized.

The number of refugees and migrants reached yet another record on Friday (Aug. 28), according to the UN refugee agency, which said that it passed 300,000 this year, compared to 219,000 in the whole of 2014.

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