Cardinal Christoph Schönborn calls for Europe to be united - asking for 'courageous decisions' on the plight of refugees
The Archbishop of Vienna said he was “deeply shaken” by the death of at least 20 migrants found in a lorry abandoned by the side of an Austrian motorway.
The bodies of at least 20 people have been identified – though police say this could rise to as many as 40 or 50.
Police have said the migrants suffocated, though it is not yet clear whether this was in transit.
Cardinal Schönborn, who will hold a Memorial Service for the victims, said the “terrible deed” makes the human plight of refugees clearer than ever.
He said “courageous decisions” needed to be made, to help those in similar situations.
Schönborn revealed his horror at the “indescribable inhumanity” of the act.
He has now called for Europe to be united, and to use the law to bring the “criminals” to justice.
The cardinal said his sympathy is with those who suffered the “unimaginably agonizing death” as well as their families.
Police said the parked lorry filled with the decomposed remains was discovered on Thursday morning on Austria’s A4 motorway between Parndorf and Neusiedl.
A roadside employee sounded the alarm, after he noticed the lorry had been on the hard shoulder for “awhile”.
Officers said the vehicle could have been abandoned as early as Wednesday morning.
The cardinal will lead a Memorial Service on August 31st in St Stephen’s Cathedral for the victims of the disaster as well as all refugees who have died.
Police are now investigating whether the refugees died in transit, and exactly how many have died.