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More than 20 dead refugees discovered in truck in Austria

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dead refugees found in Austrian truckAs many as 50 refugees were found dead in a parked truck in eastern Austria on Thursday, police said, marking what one Austrian official called a “dark day” in Europe’s escalating refugee crisis.

The vehicle, which contained between 20 and 50 bodies, was found on a parking strip off the highway in Burgenland state, police spokesman Hans Peter Doskozil said at a press conference with Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner. "This tragedy affects us all deeply," Mikl-Leitner said.

"We cannot at this point make any concrete conclusions about how their death occurred," Doskozil said, according to Austria’s Krone newspaper.

An interior ministry spokesman confirmed that a tractor trailer had been found on a motorway near the town of Parndorf.

"Unfortunately there are many dead people in there," he added, but said he did not have an exact number of the people involved, whom he described as refugees.

A police spokesman told a news conference carried on Austrian television that he could not put an exact figure on the number of victims. "We can assume that it could be 20 people who died. It could also be 40, it could be 50 people," he said.

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