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At least 46 dead bodies were found in a truck’s tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday, in what authorities believe could be a shocking instance of cross-border migrant trafficking gone wrong.
Another 16 peoplle were taken to local hospitals in varying conditions, according to officials.
San Antonio Police, as well as agents from US Customs and Border Patrol, are reportedly on the scene.
“There are about 46 migrants dead in San Antonio,” the city’s Catholic archbishop wrote in a statement. “Our prayers raised up to you O Lord for their souls. Lord have mercy on them. They hoped for a better life. Lord after Uvalde and now this, help us! We need you! So many people suffering. God, God, God.”
Officials are expected to address the public later this evening at 9pm CDT.
San Antonio tragedy recalls incident from 2017 where 10 died
Texas officials are noting that Monday’s suspected human trafficking catastrophe is similar to an incident from 2017 in San Antonio.
Ten people died after being transported in the back of a sweltering tractor-trailer which carried up to 100 suspected unauthorised migrants.
Here’s Narjas Zatat’s report from the time.
‘All were victims of ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo’ says a US attorney
Some useful context on Texas governor’s claim that Biden is responsible for San Antonio
Officials have not fully confirmed that those inside the tractor-trailer discovered full of bodies on Monday were migrants, but that hasn’t stopped Texas’s governor Greg Abbott from blaming the tragedy on Joe Biden’s “open border” policies.
As reporter Dara Lind notes, however, it is the Texas government which has in fact contributed greatly to locking down the border under Biden, pushing migrants towards unofficial methods of crossing.
WATCH: San Antonio officials describe ‘human tragedy’ in press conference
Police and fire department officials in Texas addressed the public on Monday night, after 46 dead bodies were found in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio this evening.
“We have 16 folks who are fighting for their lives in the hospital,” San Antonio mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “Our focus right now is to try and bring aid to them as best we can. This is nothing short of horrific human tragedy.”
You can watch their full remarks here, via the San Antonio Police Department Facebook page.
ICE will investigate human smuggling tragedy in San Antonio
The Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations team will be the agency leading the inquiry into today’s tragedy in San Antonio.
The unit is a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Officials have yet to officially confirm those inside the truck were migrants, though it is suspected to be so.
46 dead, 16 injured in truck catastrophe, include four children
Officials have provided a grim update on the death toll from the tractor-trailer found filled with bodies in San Antonio on Monday.
They confirmed 46 people are dead, and another 16 were taken to hospitals with heat-related injuries, including four children.
“We’re not supposed to open up a truck and see stacks of bodies in there,” San Antonio Fire Department chief Charles Hood said.
Three people have been taken into custody, though they haven’t been named as suspects, officials said.
San Antonio police addressing public now
You can watch their remarks live via KENS.
Texas governor blames Joe Biden for tractor-trailer catastrophe
Texas governor Greg Abbott is blaming Joe Biden’s border policies for the more than 40 likely migrants found dead in a tractor-trailer on Monday near San Antonio.
“These deaths are on Biden,” Mr Abbott said in a statement on Monday. “They are a result of his deadly open border policies. They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.”
The Biden administration, far from maintaining open borders, has retained many of Donald Trump’s most stringent immigration measures.
Breaking news: At least 40 migrants found dead in tractor-trailer near San Antonio
More than 40 people have been found dead in a tractor-trailer near San Antonio, Texas, according to a report by KSAT News, which cited “multiple police sources.” Initial reports suggested the victims were migrants.
The local news outlet said police had blocked a road on Monday evening and surrounded an 18-wheeler that had been abandoned next to railroad tracks in a secluded area southwest of the city. Images posted online showed US Border Patrol, police vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances at the scene.
More than 12 others were found alive and taken to local hospitals, the New York Times reported, citing local officials.
Richard Hall is following this breaking news story.
Catholic archbishop in San Antonio laments tragedy so soon after Uvalde
It’s been one tragery after another in Texas, with today’s potential instance of human trafficking in San Antonio coming not long after the historic mass shooting in Uvalde.
“There are about 46 migrants dead in San Antonio. Our prayers raised up to you O Lord for their souls,” San Antonio’s archbishop wrote in a statement on Monday. “Lord have mercy on them. They hoped for a better life. Lord after Uvalde and now this, help us! We need you! So many people suffering. God, God, God.”
A horrifying scene in San Antonio
Good evening and welcome to our live coverage of a horrifying discovery in Texas, where 46 people, believed to be cross-border migrants, were found dead in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio.