Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann (R) talks next to Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner during an extraordinary session of the parliament on migration policy in Vienna on Sept. 1, 2015.
Heinz-Peter Bader—Reuters
By Alastair Jamieson / NBC News
September 2, 2015

Two dozen young refugees were rescued from the back of a van whose doors had been welded shut, authorities in Austria said Wednesday.

The migrants, who are aged from 16 to 20 and are mostly Afghan nationals, were found inside the vehicle after it was stopped by police in Vienna on Tuesday, the country’s interior ministry said in a statement.

They were in “a life-threatening situation,” the ministry said, adding that the 30-year-old Romanian driver tried to flee but was later caught by a police sniffer dog.

It comes less than one week after 71 bodies were found in an abandoned truck on

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