Last Updated on 5 months by Mukesh
The San Antonio authorities found an abandoned 18-wheeled tractor-trailer full of smuggled migrants on Tuesday. At least 51 migrants have been found dead, while other 16 have been admitted to hospitals for treatments. Out of these sixteen, twelve are adults, and four are children. They were suffering from exhaustion and heat stroke.
The vehicle was located near Lackland Air Force Base in Southwest San Antonio. The exact location is close to the intersection of Cassin Drive and Quintana Road.
A worker was working in the area. He heard a person crying and was asking for help. After that, he went there and saw the abandoned vehicle. He immediately informed the police around 6:00 p.m.
Homeland Security Investigations has started the criminal investigation of the case. They are taking the help of the San Antonio police. Police have taken three suspected people into custody. One of them is the driver of the truck. The truck belongs to a resident in San Antonio.
Officials say that there seems a possibility that several migrants tried to jump out of the vehicle as some dead bodies were found lying near various blocks.
The 18-wheeler had a refrigeration system but was not in working condition. The smugglers also sprinkled steak seasoning on the people inside the vehicle so that their smell did not go out.
Moreover, when police arrived at the location, they noticed that the doors of the truck were partially open. They found a dead body lying outside the vehicle, and the rest were found inside.
The survivors were extremely weak and frail. They were not able to walk on their own. It seems that no one provided even water to them. There was no proper ventilation system available in the truck, and the temperature was almost 38° Celsius in San Antonio on Monday.
The nationalities of all the victims are still to be determined. But according to the U.S. and Mexican authorities, some of the migrants belong to Guatemala and some to Honduras. The examiners are using various physical identities and documents to identify the victims.
One of the survivors has been identified as José Luis Guzmán Vásquez. He is 32-year-old and is from San Miguel Huautla, located in the southern state of Oaxaca.
Smuggling and human-trafficking incidents are normal on the border between Mexico and the U.S. The migrants used to pay around $8,000 to $10,000 to smugglers for help in crossing the border. The incidents have claimed so many precious lives. But this appears to be the deadliest migrant-smuggling tragedy that happened in recent years.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, and Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus all have expressed shock over the incident.
Gov. Gregg Abbott has accused President Biden of such kinds of incidents. He said that these things happen due to his government’s open border policies. Biden has also issued a statement in this regard.
Ruben Minutti, the Mexican consul general in San Antonio, has issued a number for the Mexican citizens. If anyone needs help or information about the incident, then he/she can call the consulate at 210-872-4386.