A truck carrying migrants was found Monday, with 46 dead bodies, in its trailer in San Antonio, Texas, after a hot day, and three people were arrested, the authorities said.
The tragedy, one of the worst tragedies in recent years, comes five years after a similar tragedy in the same city, in which ten illegal immigrants lost their lives in an overheated trailer.
“So far we’ve cared for about 46 bodies,” Charles Hood, the city’s fire chief, said during a news conference at the end of a day when the temperature approached 40 degrees Celsius.
He said 16 people – twelve adults and four children – were treated and made “conscious” while being transported to nearby hospitals.
“We are facing a horrific human tragedy tonight,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “We hope that those responsible for placing these people in such inhumane conditions will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he added.
Trucks such as those found in San Antonio, a large city in Texas 240 kilometers from the border with Mexico, are a method of transportation frequently used by immigrants wishing to enter the United States.
Such a trip is very dangerous, especially since these vehicles are rarely air-conditioned and their passengers quickly run out of water.
“The patients we saw were hot to the touch, had heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and no water was found in the car,” the fire chief said.
” ask for help “
Le charnier a été découvert par un individu travaillant non loin, qui a « entendu un appel au secours » et s’est approché pour voir de quoi il retournait, a raconté le chef de la police de San Antonio, Williams de laus, Press Conference.
Three people have been arrested, he said, but “we don’t know if they are related to this or not.”
McManus said the investigation, which is now federal, has been assigned to investigators from the Department of Homeland Security.
Their chief, Charles Hood, said about 60 firefighters were mobilized to care for the remains and would receive psychological support. “You’re not supposed to open a truck and find piles of bodies in it,” he said of the trauma his men experienced.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard lamented the “tragedy” on Twitter.
He noted that the Mexican consul in San Antonio had gone there and learned that two of the four children in the hospital were of Guatemalan nationality.
He believed that the tragedy was “most likely perpetrated by human traffickers”.
The Republican Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, immediately seized on the tragedy to blame Democratic President Joe Biden.
These deaths (the responsibility) of Biden. “They are the result of his lethal policy of opening the borders,” he said.
The arrival of illegal immigrants increased sharply after the election of Joe Biden, although the latter has been trying since his arrival in the White House to stem the flow of immigrants by assigning his deputy, Kamala Harris, this thorny file.
In July 2017, a similar tragedy struck lives: Ten immigrants died in an overheated trailer parked in the parking lot of a supermarket near San Antonio.
At that time, the immigration services indicated that the temperature in the trailer, where there were dozens of immigrants, could rise to 65 degrees Celsius.
The truck driver, who claimed he did not notice he was transporting about 100 people in his trailer, was sentenced in April 2018 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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