46 people were found dead in and near a tractor-trailer found near Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. 16 others were taken to hospitals.
The discovery, which was made near the intersection of Cassin Drive and Quintana Road in Southwest San Antonio, is presumed to be a case of human smuggling involving migrants, according to The Texas Tribune.
Local officials said Monday that three people have been taken into custody but their role in the incident is still unclear. San Antonio Police Chief William McManus described the case as the deadliest human smuggling incident he could recall in the city.
Authorities were called to the scene after a worker in the area heard a cry for help and notified police.
According to a description of the scene by a law enforcement official, some of the deceased were found several blocks away from the semi, implying that they tried to jump out of the tractor-trailer.
Of the 16 taken to hospitals with heat-related illnesses, 12 were adults and four were children, the city’s Fire Chief, Charles Hood, said. “They were suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion,” Hood added. “It was a refrigerated tractor-trailer, but there was no visible working AC unit on that rig.” He also added that no water was found in the trailer.
McManus told reporters that police are still investigating how many people in total had been inside the truck and whether or not everyone who had been inside the truck was accounted for.
Responding to the incident, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) placed all blame for the deaths on President Joe Biden. “At Least 42 People Found Dead Inside Truck Carrying Migrants In Texas. These deaths are on Biden. They are a result of his deadly open border policies. They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law,” Abbott Tweeted Monday.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg (I) also said in a Tweet on Monday, “Migrants seeking asylum should always be treated as a humanitarian crisis, but this evening we’re facing a horrific human tragedy.” He added, “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.”
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ABC NEWS
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