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The logo of the police from Austria seen on the uniform of a police officer. DPA/PA Images
smuggler van

Three dead after smuggler van overturns in Austria

The van was crammed with some 20 people, including children, when it overturned as the driver sought to escape a police control.

THREE PEOPLE DIED and several others were injured on Saturday in Austria after a crammed van smuggling them tried to escape a police control and overturned, the state news agency said.

The accident occurred on a highway in Burgenland state near Austria’s border with Hungary, the APA news agency reported.

The van was crammed with some 20 people, including children, when it overturned as the driver sought to escape a police control on the Austrian side of the frontier.

Two men and a woman died, APA said, with several others seriously injured. The driver has been arrested.

Police or other officials could not immediately be reached by AFP.

Austria’s interior ministry announced in May that police had smashed a group believed to have smuggled tens of thousands of people, mostly Syrians, from Hungary to Austria.

Two of those illegally transported across the border were found suffocated in a van last year.

This recalled a grim incident in 2015 when 71 people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan suffocated in the back of an air-tight van where they had been hidden by people smugglers.

The bodies, including those of three children and a baby, were discovered in Austria but they had died while still on the other side of the border with Hungary.

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