Hospitalised migrant children in Austria 'vanish'

2015-08-30 19:16
(Ronald Zak, AP)

(Ronald Zak, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Vienna - Three Syrian children hospitalised with severe dehydration after being rescued in Austria from a van packed with migrants have "vanished" with their parents, police said on Sunday.

"We have just found out that they left hospital yesterday [Saturday] with their parents. Then they vanished, and we think they went to Germany," spokesperson David Furtner told AFP.

The two 5-year-old girls and one 6-year-old boy were among 26 migrants in the back of a van pulled over by police near the German border, after a short chase shortly after 04:00 on Friday morning.

Their rescue came a day after an abandoned truck containing 71 dead migrants including four children was found on a motorway in eastern Austria near the Hungarian border, provoking international revulsion.

The children in the van were in an "extremely bad state of health" and if the journey had continued the situation "could probably have become critical", police in Upper Austria state in northern Austria said.

The Austria Press Agency on Sunday quoted a doctor at the hospital in Braunau am Inn saying that although the children would have been kept in, "from a medical point they were not in danger any more”.

Like many migrants caught in Austria - as well as the truck with the 71 bodies - the Fiat Ducato with Spanish number plates driven by a Romanian began its journey in Hungary and was headed for Germany.

EU member Hungary, Austria's neighbour to the east, has this year reported more than 140 000 migrants crossing over from Serbia. Most go on to places like Germany or Sweden, via Austria.

Since Hungary is in the visa-free Schengen zone, onwards travel is relatively easy.

Austrian police have however stepped up checks, and Furtner said that this year alone police in Upper Austria have arrested 93 human traffickers transporting a total of 1 630 migrants.

"These are the ones we arrest. Most escape," he said.

"In terms of the drivers, Romanians are the most common, followed by Serbs, Hungarians, Bulgarians and the occasional 'exotic' case like the Congolese man who lived in Italy."


Read more on:    austria

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.