Trailer deaths in San Antonio: 46 immigrants found dead inside a trailer, authorities say

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson said Monday that San Antonio police have reported an “alleged human smuggling event” to the US Department of Homeland Security’s investigative unit, which is leading the investigation. The accident appears to have been among the deadliest in recent years for migrants near the southern border.

Police Chief Bill McManus said at a news conference Monday evening that three people are in police custody, although their relationship to the situation is unclear.

McManus said authorities were alerted to the scene shortly before 6 p.m., when a worker in a nearby building heard a cry for help. McManus said the operator found a trailer with its doors partially open and saw dead people inside.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said 16 people — 12 adults and four children — were taken to medical facilities. A spokesperson for Methodist Healthcare said three were taken to the Metropolitan Hospital in stable condition.

Those found alive, Hood said, were hot to the touch, heat stroke and fatigue, and were conscious when they were taken for care. He said there was no sign of water in the refrigerated semi-trailer and no working air conditioning unit visible.

High temperatures on Monday in the San Antonio area ranged from the high 90s to the low 100s, to me National Weather Service.

The victims were probably trying to find a better life

Secretary of Homeland Security “I am heartbroken by the tragic loss of life today and I pray for those who are still fighting for their lives.” Alejandro Mallorcas He said on social media. “So many lives have been lost because individuals – including families, women and children – are making this dangerous journey.”

Hood said the 60 firefighters who were at the site were undergoing a serious accident to debrief the tension.

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“We’re not supposed to open a truck and see piles of bodies in it. None of us come to work imagining that,” the fire chief said.

“It’s tragic,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Monday. “There are, as we know, 46 people who are no longer with us, who have families, who are likely to try to find a better life. And we have 16 people who are fighting for their lives in the hospital.”

The Mexican Consul General in San Antonio said on social media that assistance will be provided to Mexican citizens. At least two of the 16 survivors have been identified as Guatemalans, according to the Mexican foreign minister, citing the consul.

Mayorkas told CNN earlier this month that US officials are working to better deal with the flow of migrants to the US-Mexico border. Their operation builds on previous initiatives to go after the smugglers that migrants often rely on as they make their way to the border. The Department of Homeland Security also announced last spring an effort to crack down on criminal smuggling organizations, along with federal partners.

In recent years, immigrants have faced tragedies and other challenges, enduring heat and dangerous terrain while trying to cross the United States and Mexico.

Rescue operations across the southern border of the United States have outpaced rescue operations in the past fiscal year. Since October, more than 14,000 search and rescue operations have been conducted along the southern US border, according to US Customs and Border Protection – including rescues from dangerous water crossings. That’s up from 12,833 search and rescue operations in fiscal year 2021, with more than three months left until the end.
In 2017, 10 people died and dozens were injured due to heat-related weather conditions after discovering it On a tractor trailer at a San Antonio Walmart. The truck driver was sentenced to life without conditions In a federal prison.
in 2003, 18 victims Investigators said people between the ages of 7 and 91 were found dead in the back of a semi-trailer with about 100 other people as temperatures exceeded 100 degrees. The driver in that case was initially sentenced to life imprisonment, but in 2011 resent to nearly 34 years in prison.
The heat wasn’t the only danger to the migrants crammed into the vehicles. In March 2021, a semi-trailer loaded with 25 people collided with an SUV on an isolated stretch of Imperial Valley, California, 13 illegal immigrants killed.

Carolyn Song, Priscilla Alvarez, Michelle Watson, Carol Suarez, Sheriff Paget, Jane Deaton, Amanda Jackson, Steve Almassi contributed to this report.

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