Washington: Eight people were found dead Sunday in a truck in a parking lot in San Antonio, Texas, in an apparent people trafficking case, authorities said.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus and Fire Chief Charles Hood told reporters that in addition to the dead, there were 28 injured — 20 of them severely — who were being treated at seven local hospitals.
"We arrived on the scene and found eight people dead in the back of that trailer," the police chief said, calling it horrific.
He explained that store security footage showed that some vehicles came to pick up some travellers who were on the truck and made it alive.
"We're looking at a human trafficking crime this evening," he added.
It was not immediately clear how many people made it off the truck alive, McManus said.
San Antonio lies a few hours drive from the border with Mexico's Nuevo Leon state. Weather in the area has been hot and dry.
Federal immigration officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement have also been notified, the police chief said.
The deadly discovery, sadly "is not an isolated incident. This happens quite frequently under cover of night," McManus said.
Illegal migration over the US border with Mexico is an everyday fact. Most of the migrants are from Mexico and Central America seeking better-paying work in the United States.
This time, "fortunately there are people who survived, but this happens all the time," he said.
There have been many cases of migrants — often scores at a time — stranded and killed in northern Mexico when the truck they are being moved in was abandoned in heat by drivers.
The smugglers in their haste to evade authorities often leave passengers without air conditioning, and often without air to breathe.
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Updated Date: Jul 23, 2017 17:18:05 IST