Up to fifty migrants were found dead in a tractor-trailer found in a remote area of the city of San Antonio, Texas on Monday night, in the latest tragedy befalling people trying to cross into the United States from Mexico.
According to reports, a city employee in a building near the scene heard a cry for help around 6 P.M. Monday night (June 27th). They found the truck with the trailer doors partially opened and saw the bodies of the deceased inside, prompting them to call the police. According to authorities, forty-eight people died on the scene and two would pass away later after being taken to an area hospital. Sixteen other people – twelve adults and four children – were found alive and rushed to medical facilities. A federal law enforcement official said to the press that there were at least 22 Mexican nationals, seven Guatemalan citizens, and two from Honduras among the dead in what they termed “an alleged human smuggling event”.
San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said that the refrigerator tractor-trailer had no working air-conditioning unit, and those surviving patients were hot to the touch and suffering from heatstroke. “None of these people were able to extricate themselves out of the truck,” Hood said at the press conference held later that evening. “So they were still in there, awaiting help when we arrived … meaning just being too weak — weakened state — to actually get out and help themselves.” The city is currently in the midst of high temperatures ranging from the high 90s to the low 100s.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott quickly issued a statement on Twitter placing blame on President Joe Biden for the incident. “These deaths are on Biden. They are a result of his deadly open border policies,” he wrote.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said that the incident was “nothing short of a horrific human tragedy.” Three other people had been detained a short distance from the scene, and the investigation is now being led by federal authorities including the Customs and Border Patrol. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas issued a tweet offering his condolences for those lives lost, writing: “I am heartbroken by the tragic loss of life today and am praying for those still fighting for their lives. Far too many lives have been lost as individuals – including families, women, and children – take this dangerous journey.”