Update: 50 migrants die in trailer abandoned in San Antonio heat
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Fifty people have died after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer in the sweltering Texas heat, one of the worst tragedies to claim the lives of migrants smuggled across the border from Mexico to the U.S. More than a dozen people had been taken to hospitals, including four children.
A city worker heard a cry for help from the truck on a lonely San Antonio back road shortly before 6 p.m. Monday and discovered the gruesome scene, Police Chief William McManus said. Hours later, body bags lay spread on the ground near the trailer and bodies remained inside as authorities responded to the calamity.
Forty-six people were found dead near the scene, authorities said. Four more later died after being taken to hospitals, said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, the county’s top elected official,
Among the dead were 39 males and 11 females, he said.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said those who died had “families who were likely trying to find a better life.”
“This is nothing short of a horrific human tragedy,” Nirenberg said.
It’s among the deadliest of the tragedies that have claimed thousands of lives in recent decades as people attempt to cross the U.S. border from Mexico. Ten migrants died in 2017 after being trapped inside a truck parked at a Walmart in San Antonio. In 2003, the bodies of 19 migrants were found in a sweltering truck southeast of San Antonio.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One that President Joe Biden was “closely monitoring the absolutely horrific and heartbreaking reports” from San Antonio.
Jean-Pierre pushed back against some Republican lawmakers who blamed the administration for the deaths and said it was focused on the victims and holding human smugglers accountable.
“The fact of the matter is, the border is closed, which is in part why you see people trying to make this dangerous journey using smuggling networks,” she said. “Our prayers are with those who tragically lost their lives, their loved ones as well as those still fighting for their lives. We’re also grateful for the swift work of federal, state and local first responders.” Full story here: