The discovery of a lorry containing the corpses of over 70 refugees on an Austrian motorway has given added impetus to a key summit on migration in Vienna.
The migrant crisis is the worst in Europe since the Second World War and is worsening by the day.
“These people come to Europe and come to Europe for protection. They need Europe to protect them and we need to live up to our standards of human rights and respect of international obligations to protect them. We need a European approach, the problem is that everybody understands Europe in a different way,” EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini told those gathered.
The migrant flow is much higher than the same period last year.
Thousands are arriving on the shores of Greece, Italy and Spain or overland through the Western Balkans like here in Macedonia.
Germany gets the most asylum applications of all the EU member states. It is expecting 800,000 this year the summit has heard.
The 70 plus bodies have been recovered from a lorry found abandoned near the border with Hungary, officials have said.
The announcement from the Austrian interior ministry on Friday represents a significant rise in the number of people, thought to be migrants, who are known to have died. Police had originally put the toll at 50.
The Austrian authorities gave more details at a news conference on this morning.
An Austrian police chief has said three people have been arrested in Hungary, which it is believed will lead them to the people behind the truck deaths.
The authorities say 71 bodies were found inside the lorry: 59 men, eight women and four children. They included a group of Syrian migrants, according to the Austrian police chief.
Austrian and Hungarian police have been trying to find the truck driver.
The refrigerated, air-tight truck was found on Thursday by an Austrian motorway patrol with fluid seeping out. The bodies were probably inside for two days.
On Thursday Local police chief Hans Peter Doskozil described the moment the truck doors were opened:
“Our initial suspicions were confirmed. Inside the truck there were numerous dead bodies in an advanced state of decay.”
The vehicle bore the logo of a Slovakian poultry company, Hyza, which reportedly says the lorry had been sold.
It was found on Thursday by a motorway patrol on the A4, one of the main routes to Vienna.
It had been seen near the Hungarian capital Budapest on Wednesday.
The vehicle was taken to a nearby veterinary hospital where a full examination was carried out through the night.
The grisly discovery coincided with a key summit on migration in Vienna, where Angela Merkel began talks with six Balkan nations and senior EU officials.
The German Chancellor said the number of refugees in Europe had reached the highest level since WWII.
The lorry tragedy focuses attention on Austria’s southeast, where refugees travel to Europe through the Balkans and Hungary trying to get to Vienna or on to Germany.
It has also brought calls for the Balkans to be given more attention as part of an EU-wide solution to the migration crisis.
Officials say the migrants whose bodies were found in an abandoned lorry in Austria may have been dead for two days by the time it was discovered.
The refrigerated, air-tight truck was found by an Austrian motorway patrol with fluid seeping out.
The vehicle was found on Thursday on the A4, one of the main routes to Vienna.
It was seen near the Hungarian capital Budapest on Wednesday.
The vehicle has now been taken to a nearby veterinary hospital for a full examination.
Hat tip to Euronews for the coverage
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved