DEVELOPING STORYDEVELOPING STORY,
Officials say 46 people were found dead in a tractor trailer in what may be one of the deadliest recent incidents of human smuggling along US-Mexico border.
At least 46 have been found dead inside a tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas, in what appears to be a human smuggling attempt along the United States-Mexico border.
San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said 16 other people found in the trailer on Monday were transported to the hospital for heat stroke and exhaustion.
They included four minors.
“The patients we saw were hot to the touch. They were suffering from heat stroke, heat exhaustion. There were no signs of water in the vehicle,” he said.
“It was a refrigerated tractor-trailer, but there was no visible air conditioning unit on that rig.”
Police Chief William McManus said a city worker at the scene was alerted to the situation by a cry for help shortly before 6pm on Monday (23:00 GMT). Officers arrived to find a body on the ground outside the trailer and a partially opened gate to the trailer, he said.
The vehicle was found next to railroad tracks in a remote area on the city’s southern outskirts, and McManus said three people were taken into custody over the incident.
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard called the suffocation of the migrants a “tragedy in Texas” said the local consulate was en route to the scene.
He said two Guatemalans were among the victims and that the trailer had fake European Union plates.
Tragedia en Texas. Asfixiados en la caja del trailer según se informa. Cónsul en ruta al punto. Condolencias a las víctimas y sus familias. Aún no conocemos nacionalidades. https://t.co/4d7hDErHwo
— Marcelo Ebrard C. (@m_ebrard) June 28, 2022
Monday’s disaster may be one of the most deadly incidents of human smuggling along the US-Mexico border in recent decades.
Ten migrants died in 2017 after being trapped inside a truck that was parked at a Walmart in San Antonio, while in 2003, 19 migrants were found in a sweltering truck southeast of the city.
Temperatures in San Antonio, which is about 160 miles (250 km) from the Mexican border, swelled to a high of 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius) on Monday with high humidity.