In an 18-wheeler, 46 men and women have been discovered dead in southwest San Antonio, Texas. They are all thought to be unauthorized immigrants. On Monday, information on the “horrific incident” was released by the San Antonio Police Department.
Police received the first contact at 5:50 p.m. local time, according to Chief William P. McManus, who announced this during a press conference that was streamed live on Facebook. An employee from an adjacent building “came out to investigate” after hearing a plea for aid. He noticed the truck’s door was “half-open” when he got closer and quickly discovered the 46 bodies inside.
After numerous police cars, fire engines, and ambulances arrived at the site in the 9600 block of Quintana Road, another 16 individuals—12 adults and four children—were transported to surrounding hospitals in a variety of states.
According to PEOPLE, two patients were admitted to University Hospital and at least five patients were transferred to Baptist Medical Center in unknown situations.
Three people are currently in jail, according to Chief McManus, but it’s unclear whether they are “totally connected” to the fatalities.
According to San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood, there were reports of a dead person at the area when the fire department was called. When they got there, they discovered the trailer with several bodies inside and one body outside.
Chief Hood described the victims as being “hot to the touch” when they were being treated. “They were exhausted, and the car showed no traces of water.” The car’s air conditioning system was likewise inoperative.
He said, “We’re not meant to open up a vehicle and find heaps of bodies inside.” “None of us enter the workplace picturing that.” He continued by noting that those who were transferred to the hospital were conscious “at the time of transportation” and that it is anticipated that they will survive.
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When the tractor-trailer was abandoned next to train tracks and an auto salvage yard, it is unclear how many people were inside or how long they had been there. Not every person has been found.
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Ron Nirenberg, Mayor of San Antonio, described the situation as “nothing short of a horrendous tragedy.” “We are not to inquire as to why. Asking how we can aid is our responsibility. You are seeking medical help because of this. The federal government is in charge of the ongoing probe. As we proceed, there will no doubt be more inquiries and, perhaps, some responses.”
According to a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), “On June 27, the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) called Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to investigate an alleged case of people smuggling involving a tractor-trailer on Quintana Road close to Cassin Road. When HSI arrived on the scene, it was verified that there were more than 40 fatalities.”
Added were, “In order to maintain our communities’ safety and wellbeing, HSI keeps up its enforcement operations. We will keep addressing the grave threat to public safety posed by organisations engaged in people smuggling and their careless disregard for the health and safety of those being transported. We encourage citizens to call the HSI Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2ICE to report any suspicious activities. All conversations are kept private.”
According to the San Antonio Fire Department, this is “an active and ongoing incident,” and Homeland Security Investigations is in charge of the investigation (HSI).
With the aid of SAPD, HSI San Antonio has opened an investigation. As information becomes available, it will be made public; the criminal investigation is still ongoing.
According to KSAT-TV, San Antonio is preparing for an expected 19,000 migrants to come through the city in June as the federal government would reimburse $10.8 million for hotel rooms, food, and a planned processing facility through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program.
Assistant City Manager Lori Houston told the newspaper, “We’ve seen extraordinary numbers coming through San Antonio. “Over the last three months, we’ve seen around 50,000 migrants cross the border into San Antonio.”
One of the deadliest immigrant tragedies in recent memory occurred on Monday. According to Sky News, 39 Vietnamese migrants perished in England in 2019 as a result of a similar catastrophic road crossing incident. The victims were discovered in a truck that resembled theirs, dead from hypothermia and asphyxia.
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