In another indication of the worsening migrant crisis in Europe, an abandoned meat truck full of 70 bodies of migrants was found on the side of a highway in eastern Austria on Thursday morning Aug. 27. The truck was found on a motorway near the borders with Slovakia and Hungary by an Austrian patrol with fluids from the decomposing bodies seeping from its back.
The refrigerated truck had Hungarian number plates and the driver was nowhere to be seen. According to Associated Press, the truck was emblazoned with the logo of a Slovakian chicken processing company, Hyza, whose parent company, Agrofert Holding , said the truck was sold in 2014.
"One can maybe assume that the deaths occurred one-and-a-half to two days ago,” Hans Peter Doskozil, police chief in the province of Burgenland, told a news conference, adding that "many things" indicated the migrants were already dead when the truck crossed the border.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a summit on the West Balkans in Vienna:
"We are of course all shaken by the appalling news. This reminds us that we must tackle quickly the issue of immigration and in a European spirit that means in a spirit of solidarity – and find solutions."
According to local media, the migrants died of suffocation after being trapped in the truck's trailer. Meanwhile, a manhunt has been launched to find the driver who is suspected of smuggling the dead refugees into the country.