AUSTRIAN authorities have said the badly decomposed bodies of more than 70 people have been recovered from the truck found on Thursday (August 27) abandoned on a motorway hard shoulder. The number is much higher than was feared, with the initial estimate of 20 to 50 people.
The people, presumed by the police to be refugees, had been dead for some time when they were discovered. Journalists in the area described the grim situation, Lindsey Hilsum of the UK’s Channel 4 news referring to the “terrible smell of death.”
As the death toll in Austria was announced on Friday morning, news also emerged of 200 people found dead in the sea near the Libyan port of Zuwara.
According to medical charity Doctors Without Borders, which is supporting the humanitarian response, 40 were discovered on a half-submerged fishing boat, many of whom appeared to have been trapped in the hold, while 160 more bodies were found in the sea.
Some 200 survivors were rescued from the overcrowded boat, which it’s believed capsized.