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4 men get 25 years behind bars in migrants truck case in Austria

A court in Hungary heard the accused must have known the migrants and refugees were going to die in the sealed container as the oxygen ran out and they ignored their pleas for help.

In this file photo taken on 27 August 2015 forensic investigators work on a refrigerated truck parked along a highway near Neusiedl am See, Austria, after the bodies of 71 migrants where found suffocated in the lorry.  Picture: AFP.

LONDON - Four men have been jailed over the deaths of 71 people who suffocated in a lorry in Austria.

A court in Hungary heard the accused must have known the migrants and refugees were going to die in the sealed container as the oxygen ran out and they ignored their pleas for help.

In August 2015 amid a surge of migrants trying to enter Europe, the discovery of 71 people who’d suffocated to death aboard a sealed lorry seemed to highlight the cruelty of people smugglers.

The victims came from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran. They died on a very hot day in an airtight container just three hours into their journey in Hungary.

The lorry was driven into Austria and abandoned with the bodies inside.

An Afghan man said to be the gang leader and three Bulgarian accomplices, each received a 25-year prison sentence.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)