Tuesday, October 4, 2022

San Antonio trailer deaths – latest updates: 46 bodies found in Texas in potential smuggling as governor blames Biden

At least 46 bodies found in trailer, San Antonio officials say

At least 46 dead bodies were found in a truck’s tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday evening, in what authorities suspect may be a shocking instance of cross-border migrant trafficking gone wrong.

Another 16 people were taken to local hospitals in varying conditions, according to officials, including four children. Police have taken three people into custody.

A city worker heard a cry for help from the abandoned truck before discovering the gruesome scene, said police chief William McManus.

Mexico foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard called the suffocation of the migrants in the truck the “tragedy in Texas” while San Antonio’s mayor Ron Nirenberg called it a “horrific human tragedy”.

“There are, that we know of, 46 individuals who are no longer with us, who had families, who were likely trying to find a better life. And we have 16 folks who are fighting for their lives in the hospital,” he said.

Texas governor Greg Abbott blamed the tragedy on the Biden administration, claiming “open borders” led to the horrific scene.

The Department of Homeland Security is investigating the incident.

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Homeland security secretary ‘heartbroken by the tragic loss of life’

Homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas expressed profound grievance over the death of 46 individuals in San Antonio, Texas.

“I am heartbroken by the tragic loss of life today and am praying for those still fighting for their lives,” he tweeted. “Far too many lives have been lost as individuals — including families, women, and children — take this dangerous journey.”

Namita Singh28 June 2022 08:00

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Registration number on truck associated with Alamo man

The truck found in San Antonio has the US and Texas Department of Transportation registration numbers, reported the Washington Post, adding that the state records associate an Alamo man with those numbers.

However, the man’s son-in-law, Isaac Limon, told the outlet that the number on the truck was fraudulently used by those running the smuggling operation.

He added that the truck corresponding to the registration is a Volvo hauling grain in another part of Texas last week.

“It was a perfect setup,” he told the outlet, adding that his father-in-law was shaken up by the incident. “The truck is here. I’m looking at it right now. Sad to say, but he’s a bit of a victim, too, because people believe it was him.”

Namita Singh28 June 2022 07:17

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‘Criminal investigation remains ongoing’: Homeland security releases statement

“On 27 June, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) responded to a call from San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) in reference to an alleged human smuggling event involving a tractor trailer on Quintana Road near Cassin Road.

“Upon arrival in the scene, HSI confirmed more than 40 deceased individuals,” the department of homeland security said in a statement released late on Monday.

Police guard an area at the scene where a tractor-trailer was discovered with migrants inside outside San Antonio, Texas on 27 June 2022

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Police guard an area at the scene where a tractor-trailer was discovered with migrants inside outside San Antonio, Texas on June 27, 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

“HSI San Antonio has initiated an investigation with support of SAPD. Details will be released as they are available, the criminal investigation remains ongoing.”

Namita Singh28 June 2022 07:16

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‘This is devastating’, says Democratic governor candidate

Beto O’Rourke, the former congressman and Democratic candidate for governor of Texas, called the deaths in the incident “devastating” as he demanded urgent action to “dismantle human smuggling rings and replace them with expanded avenues for legal migration.”

Namita Singh28 June 2022 06:43

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Fire chief on horror of discovering bodies: ‘None of us come to work imagining that’

“We’re not supposed to open up a truck and see stacks of bodies in there. None of us come to work imagining that,” said San Antonio fire chief Charles Hood.

“None of these people were able to extricate themselves out of the truck, so they were still in there awaiting help when we arrived. Too weak in state to actually get out and help themselves.”

Namita Singh28 June 2022 06:38

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Heavy law enforcement presence at the site

Up to 20 emergency vehicles were deployed to the area of ​​Quintana Road and Cassin drive around 6pm, converging at the semitruck.

At least 60 firefighters and 10 medical units responded to the scene.

In this aerial view, members of law enforcement investigate a tractor trailer on 27 June 2022 in San Antonio, Texas

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In this aerial view, members of law enforcement investigate a tractor trailer on June 27, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas

(Getty Images)

Five patients with critical injuries were received by Baptist Medical Center in downtown San Antonio, reported Kens 5, while three others were moved to a Methodist Healthcare facility in the Alamo City. Texas Vista Medical Center was attending to a 32-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman, reported the outlet.

Namita Singh28 June 2022 06:29

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Homeland Security working to ‘alert’ the victims’ families

Congressman Joaquin Castro said Monday night he is in touch with the secretary of Homeland Security, adding the agency is “working to alert their families, find everyone responsible for this crime and investigate exactly what happened.”

Namita Singh28 June 2022 06:05

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557 border deaths since last September

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported 557 deaths on the southwest border in the 12-month period ending September 30, more than double the 247 deaths reported in the previous year and the highest since it began keeping track in 1998.

Most are related to heat exposure.CBP has not published a death tally for this year but said that the Border Patrol performed 14,278 “search-and-rescue missions” in a seven-month period through May, exceeding the 12,833 missions performed during the previous 12-month period and up from 5,071 the year before.

Namita Singh28 June 2022 06:04

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‘Stacks of bodies’ found in tractor-trailer with no sign of water

A San Antonio Fire Department official said they found “stacks of bodies” and no signs of water in the truck, which was found next to railroad tracks in a remote area on San Antonio’s southern outskirts.

Hours later, body bags lay spread on the ground near the trailer as a grim symbol of the calamity. Bodies still remained inside.

About 16 other people found inside the trailer were transported to hospitals for heat stroke and exhaustion, including four minors, but no children were among the dead, the department said.

In this aerial view, members of law enforcement investigate a tractor trailer on 27 June 2022 in San Antonio, Texas

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In this aerial view, members of law enforcement investigate a tractor trailer on June 27, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas

(Getty Images)

“The patients that we saw were hot to the touch, they were suffering from heat stroke, exhaustion,” San Antonio fire chief Charles Hood told a news conference. “It was a refrigerated tractor-trailer but there was no visible working A/C unit on that rig.”

Namita Singh28 June 2022 05:40

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Mexico and Guatemalan consulates involved in the probe

Mexico’s foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard called the suffocation of the migrants in the truck the “tragedy in Texas” on Twitter and said consular officials would go to the hospitals where victims had been taken to help “however possible”.

A spokesman for the Honduran foreign ministry told Reuters the country’s consulates in Houston and Dallas would be investigating the incident.

Mr Ebrard said two Guatemalans were hospitalized and Guatemala’s foreign ministry said on Twitter that consular officials were going to the hospital “to verify if there are two Guatemalan minors there and what condition they are in.”

Namita SinghJune 28, 2022 05:38

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