Dead migrants likely Syrians, include four children: Austrian police

The 71 bodies found in an abandoned truck on an Austrian motorway were believed to be those of Syrian migrants and included a toddler and three young boys, Austrian police said Friday.

Reuters| Updated: Aug 28, 2015, 15:57 PM IST
Dead migrants likely Syrians, include four children: Austrian police
Syrian refugees wait at the barbed wire fence, on the border between Hungary from Serbia, near Roszke

Vienna: The 71 bodies found in an abandoned truck on an Austrian motorway were believed to be those of Syrian migrants and included a toddler and three young boys, Austrian police said Friday.

"Among these 71 people, there were 59 men, eight women and four children including a young girl one or two years old and three boys aged eight, nine or 10," police spokesman Hans Peter Doskozil said.

"There was also a Syrian travel document found so of course our first assumption is that these people were migrants, and likely a group of Syrian migrants. We can rule out that they were Africans," he told a news conference.

Doskozil also said that three people were in custody in Hungary over the tragedy -- believed to be the owner of the truck found on a motorway lay-by and two others who were driving.

One is a Bulgarian citizen of Lebanese origin believed to be the owner of the vehicle.

The others -- a Bulgarian and another with Hungarian documents -- are "pretty certain to be those who drove the vehicle," Doskozil said.

The lorry was found on Thursday and had Hungarian number plates. The bodies were already decomposing and forensics experts worked all night to recover the bodies.