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Three Children In Hospital After Austrian Police Discover A New Truckload Of Refugees

The discovery came as four men appeared in court over the deaths of 71 refugees and migrants discovered in the back of a truck on Thursday.

Last updated on July 3, 2018, at 1:24 p.m. ET

Posted on August 29, 2015, at 12:37 p.m. ET

A truck containing the bodies of 71 migrants that was discovered on Thursday.
Ronald Zak / AP

A truck containing the bodies of 71 migrants that was discovered on Thursday.

Twenty-six people, thought to be refugees and migrants, were discovered in the back of a truck in the Austrian district of Braunau on Saturday, police said, just days after the bodies of 71 people were found in another truck.

In a statement, authorities said the truck's Romanian driver was arrested after a police chase, with officials discovering 26 people from Syria, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh during a subsequent search of the truck's load compartment.

Three children among those discovered were transported to hospital in "extremely poor health" suffering from severe dehydration, police said.

The truck driver, 29, has been taken into custody on suspicion of people smuggling.

The discovery came the same day four men appeared in court in Hungary on charges of aggravated people smuggling in connection with the discovery of 71 dead refugees in the back of a truck in Austria on Thursday.

The bodies of the 59 men, eight women, and four children thought to be from Syria were found in the back of the abandoned truck near a town close to the Hungarian border, police said. They are thought to have died from suffocation.

Three Bulgarians and an Afghan man arrested in Hungary were remanded in custody until Sept. 29 during a court hearing in the city of Kecskemet, the BBC reported.

Pablo Gorondi / AP

Police said the truck was registered to a Bulgarian-Lebanese man, while a Bulgarian-Hungarian was believed to have been the truck driver.

Police told Reuters they hoped to use search through data on the victims' phones to determine their identities.

Spokesman Helmut Marban said the refugees may have been dead for up to two days before their bodies were discovered.

"At first when they got in they were of course standing, but when we had to bring them out they were [entangled] altogether," he said.

The incident has served as a horrific turning point in Europe's migration crisis, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying the continent had been "shaken by the appalling news."

More than 100,000 migrants were detected at E.U. borders in the month of July, according to the bloc, with most seeking refuge from Syria and Afghanistan.

The E.U. says nearly 340,000 migrants were detected at borders between January and July, a dramatic increase from the 280,000 detected in all of 2014.

Many refugees and migrants also endure treacherous sea crossings from North Africa, which are often deadly, in order to reach European shores.