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At least 53 migrants die in Mexico truck accident, new reports estimate

On Thursday, rescue workers responded to a highway accident after a freight truck tipped over and crashed into the base of a steel pedestrian bridge in southern Mexico. The truck was packed with as many as 200 migrants, and as of late Thursday, the death toll had reached 53. 

As a result of the crash, migrants inside the cargo trailer had been tossed about and were crushed among each other’s bodies. Authorities said while at least 53 had died, another 54 people were injured. For migrants in Mexico, the event marks one of the most devastating single-day death tolls since 2010 when 72 migrants were murdered in the northern state of Tamaulipas by the Zetas drug cartel.

Volunteer rescuers removed bodies from the pile by their arms and legs, and some migrants struggled to remove themselves from the steel sheets of the crushed container. Those most severely injured were carried to plastic sheets that had been set on the road, and those who could walk were led to the same area.

Many vehicles were thrust into service to transport the injured individuals to nearby hospitals. Rescue workers who were first on the scene said that even more migrants had been inside the truck when it crashed, but many fled out of fear of being detained by immigration officers. 

The Mexican government is trying to appease the United States by halting caravans of migrants on foot, and the government has also allowed the reinstatement of former President Donald Trumps’ “Remain in Mexico” policy.

Despite these efforts, the flood of migrants shoved into freight trucks operated by smugglers and brought to the border has not been slowed. Those smugglers often charge thousands of dollars for their services, despite not always being successful in the transportation attempts, and the trips frequently end in death.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: TIMES OF INDIA

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