50 illegal immigrants die in trailer abandoned in Texas

50 illegal immigrants die in trailer abandoned in Texas

Officials near the spot where a trailer was found in San Antonio. Reuters

San Antonio (US), June 28

Fifty persons died after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer on a remote back road in San Antonio in the latest tragedy to claim the lives of illegal immigrants smuggled across the border from Mexico to the US. More than a dozen people, including four children, had been taken to hospitals.

A city worker heard a cry for help from the truck shortly before 6 pm on Monday and discovered the gruesome scene, Police Chief William McManus said.

Forty-six persons were found dead at the scene, authorities said. Four more later died after being taken to hospitals. It’s among the deadliest of the tragedies that have claimed thousands of lives in recent decades as people attempt to cross the US border from Mexico.

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said 22 Mexicans, seven Guatemalans and two Hondurans were identified among the dead.

South Texas has long been the busiest area for illegal border crossings. Immigrants ride in vehicles through border patrol checkpoints to San Antonio, the closest major city, from where they disperse across the US. Three persons were taken into custody, but it was unclear if they were definitively connected with human trafficking, said officials. The patients were hot to the touch and dehydrated, and no water was found in the trailer, Fire Chief Charles Hood said. “They were suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion. It was a refrigerated tractor-trailer, but there was no visible working AC unit,” he said. — Agencies

Biden suspends rules limiting arrests

Boston: The Biden administration, reacting to a federal court ruling in Texas, has suspended an order prioritising the arrest and deportation of immigrants considered a threat to public safety and national security. AP

Earlier incidents

Oct 23, 2019: 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in a tractor-trailer in Essex, England

July 23, 2017: Eight immigrants were found dead in a sweltering trailer at a San Antonio Walmart parking lot

Feb 20, 2017 13 African migrants suffocated inside a shipping container while being transported between two towns in Libya

Aug 27, 2015: Austrian police discovered an abandoned truck containing the bodies of 71 migrants, including eight children, from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan

April 4, 2009: 35 Afghan migrants suffocated inside a shipping container in southwestern Pakistan

April 9, 2008: 54 Burmese migrants suffocated in the back of an airtight refrigerated truck in Ranong, Thailand

June 18, 2000: 58 Chinese immigrants were found dead inside a truck in the English port town of Doverl.

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