First migrant lorry victims IDed

2015-09-23 21:16


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Vienna - The 71 migrants found dead in a lorry in Austria last month included at least 10 Iraqi adults, police said on Wednesday.

Nearly a month after they suffocated in the sealed vehicle, nine men and one woman from Iraq were the first to be identified.

Confirmation of further identities is expected soon as relatives have provided valuable information, police spokesperson Gerald Gangl told dpa.

He added it might be weeks or even months before the names of all the victims are known.

"One has to take into account that DNA samples have to be obtained from countries such as Afghanistan," Gangl said, explaining why the process will take time.

Many people have provided information by calling a dedicated Austrian police hotline since the abandoned lorry was found on August 27 on a motorway near Parndorf, close to Austria's border with Hungary.

"Many of them said that they lost contact with their relatives on that day," Pangl said.

Some of the relatives have undertaken long trips within their home countries to deliver DNA samples to authorities which send them on to Austria, while others have travelled to Austria to meet investigators, according to Gangl.

Forensic investigations suggest that the migrants suffocated half an hour after the lorry started its trip in the Hungarian capital Budapest, and that they were already dead when the vehicle entered Austria.

Read more on:    austria  |  migrants

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