At least 46 migrants found dead inside a truck in Texas

San Antonio migrants truck
The trailer was found near the New Laredo highway, San Antonio, Texas

The bodies of at least 46 people have been found inside a lorry in Texas.

Fire officials said they found “stacks of bodies” and confirmed that 16 people, including four children, were taken to hospital and are “hopeful to survive”.

City officials believe the dead were migrants.

No children are among the dead in the truck, which was found next to train tracks in the city’s Southwest Side neighbourhood.

Following the incident, Texas governor Greg Abbott tweeted that “these deaths are on Biden”, adding: “They are the result of his deadly open border policies.”

His comments were aimed at President Joe Biden’s administration and the pandemic-era rule that denies migrants, largely from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, a chance to seek asylum but encourages repeat attempts because there are no legal consequences for getting caught.

Since the law was introduced in March 2020, people illegally crossing the border have been expelled more than two million times.

However, Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate running against Mr Abbott, called for urgent action to “dismantle human smuggling rings and replace them with expanded avenues for legal migration”.

Patients were hot to the touch and suffering from heat exhaustion

In May a record 239,000 undocumented migrants were detained crossing into the country from Mexico.

The San Antonio police chief, William McManus, confirmed that three people are in custody and a federal investigation has been launched.

Mr McManus said a person who works in a nearby building heard a cry for help and came out to investigate.

The worker found the lorry doors partially opened and looked inside to find a number of bodies.

He added this was the largest incident of this kind in the city.

And in a news conference, San Antonio’s fire chief, Charles Hood, said the truck was refrigerated but there was no water or working air conditioning, adding the patients were hot to the touch, and suffering from heat exhaustion.

“We are not supposed to open up a truck and see stacks of bodies. Nobody comes to work for that,” he said.

A spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said its Homeland Security Investigations division was investigating “an alleged human smuggling event” in coordination with local police.

San Antonio’s mayor Ron Nirenberg said that this “is nothing short of a human tragedy”, adding: “Our job is not to ask why. Our job is to ask how we can help.”

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Mexico, Marcel Ebrard, said that a consul is on its way to the neighbourhood and that at least two of those in hospital were from Guatemala.

“Tragedy in Texas. Reportedly suffocated in trailer box,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The trailer has EU plates, superimposed, to circulate without revision. Very likely authorship of traffickers.”

Although no official cause of death has been recorded, temperatures in San Antonio, which is about 160 miles (250 km) from the Mexican border, hit a high of 103F (39.4C) on Monday with high humidity.

Source:  Sky News news.sky.com

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