San Antonio Trailer Deaths: 50 Immigrants are believed to have died after being found in a semitrack, official says

The death toll, which the city’s fire chief set at 46 on Monday, is believed to have been largely migrants from Mexico, as well as Guatemala and Honduras, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Their discovery began Monday for U.S. federal officials “Unprecedented” function To disrupt human trafficking networks Arrival of immigrants at the US-Mexico border.

“A human trafficking incident” was reported by San Antonio police to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigation unit, which is leading the investigation, an immigration and customs enforcement spokesman said Monday. The incident has been particularly dangerous in recent years for migrants near the southern border.

Three people are in police custody, but the connection to their condition is unclear, police chief Bill McManus told a news conference Monday night.

Authorities were alerted to the scene just before 6 p.m., when a worker in a nearby building heard cries for help, McManus said. McManus said the worker, who found a trailer, opened the doors partially and found the dead inside.

Forty-eight people died at the scene, and two died at hospitals, a federal law enforcement official told CNN on Tuesday, noting that the number was initial.

Sixteen people – 12 adults and four children – were taken alive to medical facilities, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood told a news conference Monday night.

Patients were hot to the touch and suffered from heat stroke and fatigue, Hood said. There was no sign of water in the refrigerated semitractor-trailer and no working air conditioning unit, he said.

The highest temperatures in the San Antonio area on Monday ranged from 90s to lows of 100s. According to National Weather Service.

Federal officials are trying to trace the origin of the truck and its trajectory, the official said, adding that it was not clear how long the occupants of the truck had been dead.

Victims ‘may have tried to find a better life’

“I am saddened by the tragic loss of life today and I pray for those who are still fighting for their lives,” said the Secretary of Defense. Alexander Mayergas Said on social websites. “Many individuals, including families, women and children, have lost their lives in this dangerous journey.”

The 60 firefighters at the scene have been put under pressure by a major incident, Hood said.

“We should not open a truck and look at the layers of bodies there. Imagine that none of us come to work,” the fire chief said.

“It’s sad,” Mayor Ron Niranberg said Monday. The dead, he said, “had families and they were trying to find a better life.”

The Mexican embassy in San Antonio said on social media that aid would be provided to Mexicans. At least two of the 16 survivors have been identified as Guatemala, the Mexican foreign ministry said, citing the embassy.

U.S. officials are working to better manage the flow of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border, Majorcos told CNN earlier this month. Their activity is structured based on previous initiatives to track down the kidnappers whose immigrants often stay. Last spring Homeland Security announced an effort with federal allies to crack down on criminal trafficking organizations.

In recent years immigrants have faced other tragedies and challenges as they endured dangerous heat and terrain while trying to cross the United States-Mexico.

There have been more rescue operations on the southern border of the United States than there were last fiscal year. Since October, more than 14,000 searches and rescue operations have taken place along the southern border of the United States, including recovery from US Customs and Border Protection. Dangerous water crossings. It has 12,833 searches and retrievals in fiscal 2021, more than three months away.
In 2017, 10 people died and dozens were injured by heat-related conditions After discovery In a tractor-trailer at Wal-Mart in San Antonio. The truck driver was convicted Life without parole In a federal prison.
In 2003, 18 people were affected Investigators said people between the ages of 7 and 91 died in the back of a semitrack, along with about 100 others, as temperatures rose above 100 degrees. The driver was initially sentenced to life in prison in that case, but not in 2011 There was resentment Imprisonment for almost 34 years.
Heat alone is not a danger to immigrants crowded in vehicles. In March 2021, a Semitruk packed with 25 people collided with an SUV in an isolated area of ​​the Imperial Valley in California. 13 undocumented immigrants were killed.

CNN’s Carolyn Sung, Michelle Watson, Karol Suarez, Sharif Paget, Jen Deaton, Amanda Jackson and Steve Almasy contributed to the report.

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