Eight bodies found in tractor-trailer truck in TX

Jerome Frank
July 24, 2017

Heat exposure and asphyxiation claimed the lives of at least eight people discovered inside a tractor-trailer in the parking lot of a Southside Walmart in San Antonio. He called the case "a horrific tragedy".

Seventeen of the 30 injured were transported to local hospitals with serious condition and the other 13 individuals sustained less severe injuries.

He added that the people in the truck were "hot to the touch", adding the air conditioner in the trailer was not working. Hood also said all of the deceased were adult males. "It was a mass casualty situation for us".

"We got a call from a Walmart employee about a welfare check in a tractor-trailer that was parked on the lot here".

"We're looking at a trafficking crime here this evening".

Police say it's a horrific human trafficking case and the driver has been arrested.

A police officer works on a crime scene after eight people believed to be illegal immigrants being smuggled into the United States were found dead inside a sweltering 18-wheeler trailer parked behind a Walmart store in San Antonio, Texas, U.S. July 23, 2017.

Police said 17 victims were taken to University Hospital and San Antonio Military Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Measures to harden worldwide borders encourage would-be migrants to turn to smugglers and fear of deportation deters whistle-blowing, they said.

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In Mexico, smugglers have often crammed migrants bound for the USA into tractor-trailers. A search of the surrounding area was also conducted to attempt to locate any patients that may have attempted to flee the scene.

SAPD Chief William McManus said the trailer appeared to be a smuggling operation.

Eight dead bodies were found in the truck, bringing the total number of dead to nine.

"The driver and whoever else we find is involved in this will be facing state and federal charges", McManus said. These conditions, coupled with the high temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit in San Antonio on Friday and Saturday, may have created the fatal conditions for those inside the tractor-trailer.

The driver had been arrested but his identity was not released. "If they were to spend another night in that environment, you'd have 38 people who would not have survived".

The victims' country of origin, destination, or ages remain unknown, though official interviews with survivors seem to indicate there may have been as many as 100 people in the truck at one point. "So the inside of the truck was just austere condition that nobody was going to survive in it. This happens quite frequently under cover of night".

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials defended the use of tough methods to fight human smuggling.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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