The death toll is up to 51 illegal immigrants, trapped in the back of a sweltering 18-wheeler in San Antonio. That's according to Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Marcelo Ebrard says that 22 of the victims were Mexican. Seven were from Guatemala and two were from Honduras. The others are yet to be identified. Mexico has joined the investigation, and is coordinating with the Department of Homeland Security.
Three people are in custody after the migrants were found dead inside an 18-wheeler in San Antonio. More than a dozen migrants were found alive in the trailer and taken to the hospital. Police say temperatures were hovering around 100 outside earlier today, but that means it could have been as high as 120-degrees inside the truck.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus says a man working in the 9600-block of Quintana Road near New Laredo Highway saw the truck and trailer parked on the road and heard someone calling for help.
“We’re not supposed to open a truck and see a stack of bodies in there,” said Chief Charles Hood, who said firefighters who were on the scene will undergo counseling. Hood said there no signs of water inside the truck, and while it was a refrigerated vehicle, “there was no visible working AC unit on that rig.” Those who were taken to the hospital were “too weak” to pull themselves out of the truck, Hood added.
“This is nothing short of a horrific human tragedy,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said at a news conference near the scene. Nirenberg says the matter is now under federal investigation. "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," said Nirenberg.
"There are about 46 migrants dead in San Antonio. Our prayers raised up to you O Lord for their souls. Lord have mercy on them," tweeted Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller. "They hoped for a better life. Lord after Uvalde and now this, help us! We need you! So many people suffering. God, God, God."
"I just spoke to DHS Secretary Mayorkas about the 46 people who died tonight in San Antonio, most likely the victims of merciless human smugglers," said Congressman Joaquin Castro. "DHS is working to alert their families, find everyone responsible for this crime and investigate exactly what happened."