Death toll in immigrant smuggling case hits 10

Jul 24, 2017, 00:32
Death toll in immigrant smuggling case hits 10

Cops originally discovered eight dead in the rig after one person escaped and begged a Walmart worker for water early Sunday, said officials.

The victims "were very hot to the touch.

So these people were in this trailer without any signs of any type of water", San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said in a statement.

The victims were taken to local hospitals by helicopter, ambulances and a mobile mass casualty transportation vehicle, the fire department said.

After giving water to the person, the employee then called police.

A police officer cleans up the caution tape around the area of the Walmart parking lot where the tractor-trailer was discovered.

McManus initially called it a case of human trafficking and at the end of the conference said that this "is not an isolated incident".

Police are searching the area to find anyone who may have attempted to flee the scene.

Numerous people who survived the heat are in the hospital in serious or even critical condition, recovering from heat-related illnesses.

Hood told CNN that all of the bodies were of adult males, some of whom appeared to have suffered brain damage from the heat inside the truck. The driver is in custody and will be charged. They say it's a horrific human trafficking case.

The US Department of Homeland Security was investigating the discovery, he said. "This happens quite frequently under cover of night", McManus said.

McManus said that the store surveillance video showed a number of vehicles picking several people up from inside the trailer before authorities could arrive on the scene.

It was not immediately clear how many people made it off the truck alive, McManus said.

"Horrific scene overnight in San Antonio where a human smuggling attempt turned deadly", Doggett tweeted. I personally worked on a tragic tractor trailer case in Victoria, Texas in 2003 in which 19 people were killed as a result of the smugglers' total indifference to the safety of those smuggled and to the law. He said the people in the trailer would be reviewed by ICE agents to determine their immigration status.

Authorities did not say whether the rig was locked when they arrived, whether it was used to smuggle the occupants across the border into the US, or where it might have been headed.

For over a century, immigrants have looked to the United States as a beacon of hope and opportunity.

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