According to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, among the dead, which were reported on Monday by the city fire brigade at 46, were also migrants from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. Their discovery comes on Monday when US federal authorities launch an “unprecedented” operation to disrupt human smuggling networks amid an influx of migrants on the border between the United States and Mexico.
A “alleged incident after smuggling” was alerted by police from San Antonio to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigation unit conducting the investigation, a spokesman for immigration and customs officials said Monday. The incident seems to be one of the deadliest in recent years for migrants near the southern border.
Three people arrested from the trailer are detained by police, although their connection to the situation is unclear, police chief Bill McManus told a news conference Monday night. According to McManus, the authorities were alerted to the ground before 18:00. when workers in a nearby building heard a call for help. Workers found the trailer with the door partially open and saw people dying inside, McManus said.
Federal law enforcement policy on Tuesday said CNN said tolls were uncertain, with 48 people dead on the spot and two dying in hospitals.
Charles Hood, the chief firefighter from San Antonio, told a news conference Monday night that 16 people (12 adults and 4 children) were alive and knew the medical facility.
The patient was hot to the touch and suffered from heat and malaise, Hood said. The cold tractor had no functional air conditioning units and no signs of a water leak inside, he said.
The highest temperature in the San Antonio area was between 90 and 100 degrees Celsius on Monday, according to the National Meteorological Service.
“None of the people can get out of the truck,” Hood said. “That’s why they’re still there when we arrive, waiting for help. That means they’re too weak and vulnerable to go out and help themselves.”
There were at least 22 Mexicans, seven Guatemalans and two Honduras on board the truck, according to federal law enforcement agencies. The official said the federal authorities were trying to determine the origin and route of the truck, adding that it was not clear how long the people in the truck had died.
Victims are likely to try to find a better life
“My heart went out today because of the terrible loss of lives and I pray for those who are still fighting for their lives,” Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mallorcas said on social media. “Many lives were lost when individuals – including families, women and children – took this dangerous path.”
Hood said 60 firefighters on the scene suffered a serious accident to deal with the tension.
“We won’t open the truck and see inside a pile of dead bodies. Neither of us will come to work to think about it,” the firefighter said. One of the bodies, Hood said, was outside the trailer at the time the fire department arrived.
“It’s sad,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said on Monday. Those who died said, “they had families who were probably trying to find a better life.”
The Mexican Consul General in San Antonio said on social networks that the aid would be provided to Mexican citizens. The Mexican foreign minister said that at least two of the 16 survivors had been identified as Guatemalans. Earlier this month, Mayorkas told CNN that US officials were working to better manage the flow of migrants across the US-Mexico border. The operation builds on previous initiatives to track down smugglers that migrants have always relied on to reach the border. Homeland Security also announced last spring that it would work with federal partners to tackle criminal smuggling organizations.
Migrants have faced further tragedies and challenges in recent years and must suffer from dangerous heat and soil as they try to cross the border between the United States and Mexico.
Rescue operations outside the southern border of the USA took place last fiscal year. Since October, more than 14,000 search and rescue operations, including assistance at dangerous water crossings, have been conducted along the southern U.S. border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. That’s more than 12,833 search and rescue operations for fiscal 2021 and more than three months behind.
After the San Antonio Wal-Mart street train was discovered in 2017, 10 people died and dozens were injured by heat sickness. The truck driver was unconditionally sentenced to life imprisonment.
In 2003, according to researchers, 18 victims between the ages of 7 and 91 were found dead behind a truck because the temperature rose above 100 degrees Celsius. The driver in the case was originally sentenced to life imprisonment, but was again imprisoned for almost 34 years in 2011. The heat is not the only danger for migrants crammed into cars. In March 2021, a 25-person tractor with an SUV crashed in a remote area of Imperial Valley, California, killing 13 undocumented migrants.