51 migrants discovered lifeless in San Antonio, tractor-trailer contained “stacks of our bodies”

At the least 51 migrants had been discovered lifeless at the back of a tractor-trailer in San Antonio on Monday, officers mentioned Tuesday. Greater than a dozen others had been taken to native hospitals with heat-related accidents.

Federal legislation enforcement officers confirmed to CBS Information Homeland Safety and Justice reporter Nicole Sganga this seems to be the deadliest human smuggling case in fashionable U.S. historical past.

Throughout a Tuesday afternoon press convention, officers with Bexar County, Texas, which incorporates San Antonio, mentioned the dying toll had risen to 51. Officers mentioned 39 males and 12 girls had been among the many lifeless however among the victims may very well be beneath 18 years previous.

On Tuesday morning, Mexican Overseas Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard mentioned on Twitter, citing U.S. authorities, that the victims included 22 Mexicans, 7 Guatemalans and two Hondurans. Investigators are nonetheless figuring out the nationalities of those that died or had been hospitalized, Sganga studies.

Three people believed to be a part of the suspected smuggling conspiracy are being detained by the federal company Homeland Safety Investigations, a spokesperson with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, advised CBS Information immigration reporter Camilo Montoya-Galvez.

Police Chief William McManus mentioned at a press convention Monday that authorities acquired a name at roughly 5:50 p.m. native time from a employee who had heard cries for assist and located the trailer with its doorways partially open. The employee discovered a lot of lifeless our bodies contained in the trailer, McManus mentioned.

San Antonio Hearth Chief Charles Hood mentioned the 16 individuals taken to the hospital had been all aware after they had been discovered, although they had been “weak” and would have been unable to go away the trailer on their very own. He mentioned all had been “scorching to the contact” and affected by heat-related accidents like warmth exhaustion and warmth stroke. 

He mentioned there have been no indicators of water or a working air conditioner within the truck, and authorities mentioned it isn’t clear how lengthy the group was within the truck earlier than they had been discovered.

The victims had been a mixture of women and men and different in age, officers mentioned.

Hood mentioned first responders had been being debriefed to assist them course of what they witnessed. 

“You are not speculated to open up a truck and see stacks of our bodies in there,” he mentioned. “None of us come to work imagining that.”

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg called the scenario “a horrific human tragedy.”

Homeland Safety Investigations is main the investigation into the incident and can work along side the San Antonio Police Division, legislation enforcement officers advised CBS Information.

DHS mentioned in an announcement it’s “horrified at this tragic lack of life close to San Antonio. This speaks to the desperation of migrants who would put their lives within the arms of callous human smugglers who present no regard for human life.”

An ICE spokesperson mentioned in an announcement that Homeland Safety Investigations responded to the scene after receiving a name from the police division. The spokesperson mentioned extra particulars will likely be launched because the investigation continues.

Greater than 20 emergency autos responded to the scene, CBS affiliate KENS-TV reported.

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