Austria driver sought after two migrants found dead on bus

Austrian police are seen near the Austrian-Hungarian border near Siegendorf, Burgenland, Eisenstadt district, on October 19, 2021, where two migrants were discovered dead inside a van (yellow vehicle) during a control.
Officials stopped the van in Burgenland, close to the Hungarian border on Tuesday

A manhunt is under way after two migrants were found dead in a minibus crammed with dozens of people which had crossed into Austria from Hungary.

Austrian troops discovered the bodies on Tuesday and say the vehicle’s driver fled the scene when stopped.

Some 30 migrants were on board, with most thought to be from Syria, police told the AFP news agency.

The incident comes six years after authorities found 71 people dead in a van which had made a similar journey.

The deaths, by suffocation, sparked widespread shock, with a Hungarian court later jailing four men over the incident.

On Tuesday, police say the bodies of the two victims, thought to be men in their 20s, were found after the vehicle was stopped by members of the armed forces.

The cause of death was unclear and would have to be confirmed with an autopsy, a police spokesman told local radio ORF Burgenland.

Police were using helicopters, drones and dogs in their search for the suspected driver, he added.

Hans Peter Doskozil, governor of the Burgenland region in eastern Austria, told local media the parallel with the 2015 deaths was “frightening”.

Tuesday’s incident showed “the brutality and inhumanity of organised human smuggling” and called for European-wide reform of asylum processes, he added.

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