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Two dead migrants in van in Austria, smuggler fled

Austrian border guards have found two deceased migrants in a van in Burgenland, near the border with Hungary. In total there were 28 migrants in the van; the rest of the group is in good health, the Austrian police reported.

The border guards discovered the people smuggling during a check. The driver of the van then fled. The police have started a large-scale manhunt: with the help of helicopters, drones and dogs they are looking for the man. A search for the people smuggler has also started in Hungary.

A police spokesperson says it concerns Syrians and Kurds. There were no women or children among the migrants. It is still unclear why and when the two dead migrants died. Autopsy should determine the exact cause of death.

Parallel met 2015

Governor Hans Peter Doskozil of Burgenland reacts shocked to the discovery. “This again demonstrates the brutality and inhumanity of organized people smuggling,” Doskozil said. In his response he draws a parallel with the finding of 71 dead refugees in 2015. They were found in a locked refrigerated truck in nearby Parndorf.

According to Doskozil, the Austrian authorities have not learned enough lessons from that macabre find from 2015. “We need a European reform of the asylum system, so that migrants can apply for asylum outside Europe and do not have to take dangerous escape routes,” the governor said.

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