Germany's Merkel says Austrian tragedy a 'warning' in migrant crisis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at shelter for asylum-seekers in Heidenau, eastern Germany on Aug 26, 2015.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel at shelter for asylum-seekers in Heidenau, eastern Germany on Aug 26, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

VIENNA, Austria (AFP) -The “horrible” discovery on Thursday of between 20 and 50 dead migrants inside a truck in Austria is a warning to Europe to tackle its the migrant crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

“We were all shaken by the horrible news that up to 50 people lost their lives because they were in a situation where people-smugglers did not care about their lives,” Merkel said at a summit of western Balkan leaders in Vienna.

“This is despite the fact that these people were seeking safety and protection but came to such as tragic end,” she said.

 

“This is a warning to us to tackle this migrants issue quickly and in a European spirit, which means in a spirit of solidarity, and to find solutions,” she told delegates at the summit which has been dominated by the migrant crisis.

Austrian police discovered the bodies in a lorry with Hungarian number plates parked by the side of a motorway near the Slovakian and Hungarian borders.

They said there may be as many as 50 bodies inside, but the cause of death was not immediately clear.

The lorry is believed to have been there since Wednesday.

The truck was towed away on Thursday afternoon without the corpses being unloaded, an AFP photographer at the scene near Parndorf in Burgenland said.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said it “showed once again how necessary it is to save the lives of people by fighting criminality and people-smuggling.”