At least 46 bodies found in 18-wheeler in San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO (TEXAS TRIBUNE) - A tractor-trailer found near Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio contained the bodies of 46 dead people, along with 16 others who have been taken to hospitals, local officials in San Antonio said on Monday evening.
The horrifying discovery was made near the intersection of Cassin Drive and Quintana Road in Southwest San Antonio, according to a local official who spoke to The Texas Tribune on condition of anonymity. The official said that Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Police Chief William McManus would give a briefing to the press at 9 p.m. near the site of the discovery.
The official said that federal, state and local authorities believed that the people were migrants. Cross-border smuggling and human trafficking have been longstanding problems along the U.S.-Mexico border, but the deaths of 46 people represent a stunning loss of life.
KSAT-TV reported that ambulances and law enforcement officials, including agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, had swarmed the scene. The New York Times reported that the Department of Homeland Security is on the scene.
“Migrants seeking asylum should always be treated as a humanitarian crisis, but this evening we’re facing a horrific human tragedy,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg wrote in a tweet. “More than 40 hopeful lives were lost. I urge you to think compassionately, pray for the deceased, the ailing, and their families at this moment.”
Gustavo García-Siller, the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Antonio, wrote on Twitter: “Once again, the lack of courage to deal with immigration reform is killing and destroying lives. We do not learn. God teach us to change.”
In 2017, San Antonio police discovered 39 undocumented immigrants inside of a scorching-hot tractor-trailer, resulting in 10 deaths. The driver of the truck was sentenced to life in prison in 2018.
Meanwhile in 2003, 19 undocumented immigrants were found dead in Victoria after suffocating in an airless trailer.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol last week said it had disrupted four human smuggling events that resulted in 50 arrests.
This is a developing story; check back for details.
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