Dallas

3 in custody after 46 found dead in 18-wheeler in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Three people are in custody after 46 people were found dead inside a tractor-trailer on the southwest side of San Antonio.

San Antonio police, fire trucks and ambulances surrounded an 18-wheeler near the 9600 block of Quintana Road, next to railroad tracks, KSAT reported. A worker nearby said they heard cries for help when the trailer was discovered, doors cracked open with ‘stacks of bodies’ inside.

According to San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood, all injuries were heat related and patients were ‘hot to the touch.’ Hood said during a press conference Monday night that those who died suffered from heat strokes and exhaustion due to high temperatures. 

High temperatures on Monday reached the low 100s in San Antonio. There was no air conditioning or water in the trailer.

Hood said that 16 people were transported to San Antonio area hospitals – 12 adults and four children.

U.S. Border Patrol reportedly started arriving at 8 p.m. Monday. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a press conference that the investigation is now a federal investigation.

Nirenberg also said the 46 who died had “families who were likely trying to find a better life.”

President of the League of United Latin American Citizens, Domingo Garcia, told CBS 11 that “building walls, deporting [them], and putting DPS troopers [at the border] is not going to solve the problem.”

Garcia continued to say that there needs to be a legal way to handle immigrants.

Governor Greg Abbott commented on Twitter saying the deaths are a result of President Joe Biden’s open border policies.

Beto O’Rourke, who is running for governor against Abbott, said on Twitter the incident is “devastating.”

This is among the deadliest of the tragedies as immigrants attempt to cross the Texas-Mexico border. 

Roberto Velasco Álvarez, head of the North America department in Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department, said on Twitter that 22 victims were from Mexico, seven from Guatemala and two from Honduras.

“Our condolences,” he tweeted. “All responsible will be brought to justice.”  

This story is developing.

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