POLICE found 46 dead migrants and rescued 16 others in San Antonio on Monday after a call for help led officers to “piles of bodies”.
Four children were among those rushed to local hospitals after the horrific discovery in the back of a Texas semi-truck.
Forty-six people were found dead in the trailer truck on the southwest side of Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, the San Antonio Police Department said in a news conference Monday night.
The people were found after a worker heard a cry for help – resulting in “piles of bodies” being found in the articulated lorry, SAPD said.
Three people were arrested after the deadly discovery, but it’s unclear whether they’re “absolutely connected or not,” SAPD chief William McManus said.
The 18 wheel was located at Block 9600 of Quintana Road near the New Laredo Highway.
Police said the 46 bodies were sighted and 16 others – 12 adults and four children – were discovered conscious and taken to nearby hospitals.
The hospital transports began at 6.07 p.m., the 16 rescued “are currently fighting for their lives in the hospital”.
“The patients we saw were hot to the touch…no signs of water in the vehicle or visible working air conditioning inside,” an official said.
The San Antonio Fire Department said the victims suffered heat-related injuries, including heat stroke and exhaustion.
A federal investigation is now underway and first responders who found the bodies in the truck are being counseled.
Following the discovery, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said, “The flight of migrants seeking refuge is always a humanitarian crisis.
“Tonight we are dealing with a terrible human tragedy.”
According to The Texas Tribune, the shocking find was made near the intersection of Cassin Drive and Quintana Road.
An investigation was conducted at the scene after an 18-wheeled vehicle with undocumented migrants inside was discovered, News 4 San Antonio explains.
According to the New York Times, SAPD officers searched the local area for the driver of the truck, who appeared to have exited the semi-trailer truck before authorities located him.
Sources also told KSAT that 16 people with various conditions were transported to area hospitals.
Helicopter footage showed police vehicles, ambulances and fire engines at the scene as an investigation appears to be ongoing.
Footage from near the scene was shared by KSAT on Twitter Leigh Waldmanwho wrote: “Heading towards a possible human smuggling case off Quintana Rd on the south/southeast side.”
A follow-up image shared by the reporter showed a mass casualty evacuation ambulance from the San Antonio Fire Department near the trailer truck.
“We spoke to neighbors in the area,” Waldman said in another tweet.
“They are shocked and appalled and tell us that people come here for a better life and work and that is the reality they are faced with.”
Border guards arrived at the scene, which was next to railroad tracks, around 8 p.m. Monday.
KSAT’s Patty Santos shared a photo on Twitter of first responders “walking along the train tracks with thermal imaging cameras and looking for people in the nearby woods.”
Speaking to CBS affiliate KENS 5, Antonio Fernandez, CEO of Catholic Charities, said, “We know a lot of people have been taken to the hospitals.
“We’re just trying to gather as much information as we can and see how we can help the survivors.
“I’m not really sure if these people are going to need a place to sleep tonight or what’s going to happen. We’re just trying to find out as much information as possible.”
This could be one of the deadliest incidents of migrants attempting to enter the United States from Mexico in recent decades.
In 2017, 10 migrants died after being trapped in a parked truck at a San Antonio Walmart.
In a similar situation in 2003, 19 migrants were found in a heated truck southeast of San Antonio.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5653111/san-antonio-migrants-dead-quintana-road/ 46 migrants died in San Antonio, 16 were rescued after a call for help resulted in “piles of bodies” in a truck on Quintana Road