Forty-six folks have been discovered lifeless Monday inside a tractor-trailer in a suspected migrant smuggling try on a Texas roadway, authorities stated Monday night time.
The victims have been found contained in the 18-wheeler on Quintana Highway in San Antonio simply earlier than 6 p.m. native time, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus stated.
Officers stated 16 survivors — together with 4 minors — have been rushed to space hospitals for heatstroke- and dehydration- associated circumstances.
The invention got here after a close-by employee heard a cry for assist and located the trailer with its doorways partially open and our bodies inside, police stated.
First responders discovered one physique exterior the truck and dozens extra inside.
“We’re not supposed to have the ability to open a truck and see stacks of our bodies in there,” San Antonio Hearth Chief Charles Hood stated.
He added that there was no water inside and no working air-con or refrigeration.
Temperatures in San Antonio reached a excessive of 103 Monday amid an ongoing warmth wave.
Three folks have been taken into custody in connection to the incident, however it was unclear what their involvement was.
The investigation has since been taken over by the Division of Homeland Safety.
‘Mass casualty’ scene
Native journalists reported recognizing yellow tarps close to the again of the open truck, in addition to a big “mass casualty — evacuation” ambulance dashing by and dozens of officers from the San Antonio Police Division, Homeland Safety and Border Patrol on the scene.
The truck was deserted in a distant space close to railroad tracks.
Officers and first responders have been strolling the practice tracks with thermal imaging cameras to seek out any potential survivors who could have fled, San Antonio’s KSAT information station reported.
All the victims have been believed to all have been undocumented migrants who crossed into the US illegally, based on The New York Occasions.
“The plight of migrants in search of refuge is at all times a humanitarian disaster however tonight we’re coping with a horrific human tragedy,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg stated.
Officers are investigating how the 46 folks died, however warmth is believed to be a key issue.
The demise toll was initially reported at 20 folks. The brand new depend makes the tragedy one of many deadliest incidents of migrant trafficking within the US lately.
“We are going to proceed to deal with the intense public security risk posed by human smuggling organizations and their reckless disregard for the well being and security of these smuggled,” a spokesperson for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement stated in a press release to the Submit.
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