At least 46 deceased migrants were found inside and around a tractor-trailer that had been abandoned by the side of the road on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas, on Monday.
The horrific finding, which happened a few hours from the Mexican border and five years after a fatal occurrence in the same central Texas city, was one of the deadliest migrant-related catastrophes to hit the nation recently.
According to San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood, “at this moment, we have processed roughly 46 bodies that have been triaged, tagged, and declared deceased.”
He said that 12 adults and 4 children, totaling 16, had been transported to the hospital while still alive and cognizant.
The deceased’s age and country were not first disclosed.
It was a refrigerated tractor-trailer, but Hood said there was no clearly evident functional A/C unit on that rig. “The patients that we observed were hot to the touch, they were suffering from heat stroke, heat exhaustion, no traces of water in the vehicle,” Hood said.
Three people were being held for the incident, according to officials.
At a press conference, Mayor Ron Nirenberg of San Antonio stated, “Tonight we are dealing with a tragic human tragedy.
So, he continued, “I would urge you all to think kindly and pray for the deceased, the sick, and the families.
“And we also hope that those who put these people in such appalling circumstances will be held accountable to the greatest extent of the law.”
Approximately 250 kilometers (150 miles) from the border, San Antonio serves as a key transit hub for people traffickers.
Additionally, it has recently been slammed by a heat wave that broke records; on Monday, temperatures in the region reached 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.5 degrees Celsius).
The car was discovered on a road close to Highway I-35, a crucial US thoroughfare that runs all the way to the Mexican border.
Police, firefighters, and ambulances were all present at the area as part of a large emergency response.
At around 5:50 p.m., an emergency call, according to San Antonio police chief William McManus, first notified the authorities.
He told reporters, “A guy who works in one of the buildings up here behind me heard a call for assistance, came out to check, found a trailer with the doors partially open, opened them to take a look, and found a number of lifeless people inside.
He said that the federal Department of Homeland Security had taken over the investigation.
Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas and a conservative who supports a hard line on immigration, blamed President Joe Biden’s “deadly open border policies” for the catastrophe.
Biden is to blame for these deaths, Abbott said. They demonstrate the fatal results of his failure to uphold the law.
The incident was dubbed a “tragedy” by Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, who also announced that the Mexican consul was its route to the scene.
Two Guatemalans were among the survivors, according to Ebrard, who also stated that the nationalities of the fatalities were yet unknown.
Ten migrants perished in a similar disaster in San Antonio in 2017, suffocating to death while traveling into the US in a hot trailer with malfunctioning air conditioning and blocked ventilation holes.
The truck was reported to have been carrying up to 200 passengers, the majority of whom fled when it stopped in a parking lot, and dozens more had been admitted to hospitals with heat stroke and exhaustion. Later, the truck driver admitted guilt on charges connected to the fatalities.
“Lord, show them mercy. After hearing of Monday’s terrible finding, San Antonio’s archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller tweeted, “They hoped for a better life.
“Again, the inability to address immigration reform is taking lives and destroying them.”