A VAN with Spanish number-plates was stopped in Austria on Saturday (August 29) and found to be transporting 26 refugees, amongst them three children.
The discovery was not a repeat of the horror find in Austria on Thursday (August 27), where the remains of 71 people including a baby were recovered from a lorry abandoned at the roadside.
But after the van was stopped in the town of St Peter am Hart near the border with Germany, three children were taken to hospital to be treated for severe dehydration. The 26 people travelling in the van were believed to be from Syria, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
“The van is a Fiat Ducato with a Spanish number-plate,” said a spokesperson for the Austrian authorities, according to the Spanish news agency EFE. The Romanian driver of the van was arrested.
According to various reports, the children were checked out of hospital by their parents on Sunday.
A police spokesperson told British daily The Guardian that the children were in a stable condition, and their parents had decided to take them to continue their journey to Germany: “They didn’t want to stay in Austria… If they had stayed, we would have taken them for interviews and asked where they came from, where they want to go [and about] the smuggler … with the possible result that we would have had to send them back to Hungary.”
The chief executive of the hospital where they had been treated, Erwin Windischbauer, said the children were “on the way to recovery. It would have been even better for them to stay… but they were not in a life-threatening condition.”