Eight Found Dead in Sweltering Truck at Walmart Parking Lot in Texas

Posted July 24, 2017

At least eight people are dead after more than 30 people, including two teenagers, were discovered in a semi-trailer in San Antonio as part of an apparent human smuggling operation.

Texas officials have reported eight people dead and 30 others injured, in what is believed to be a human trafficking incident.

CNBC also reports that 20 people were airlifted to hospitals with critical to very critical conditions, while eight people were hospitalized with less serious injuries.

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Authorities don't know how long that truck had been sitting in the Walmart parking lot or where it came from, but they know it had no air conditioning. First responders say they had to treat it as a mass-casualty situation. The employee handed over the water but quickly called the police, who immediately arrested the driver of the truck. "But this happens all the time", San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told reporters. He said that if any resident in the area encounters someone from the truck, they should "call 911 right away".

Thomas Homan, acting Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), weighed in on the incident, calling it a "horrific crime". Temperatures reached over 100 degrees Saturday in San Antonio, and never fell below 90, according to local weather services.

Back in May of 2003, 19 immigrants died as they were being transported from Southern Texas to Houston.

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In Mexico, smugglers have often crammed migrants bound for the United States into tractor-trailers, sometimes in hidden compartments. A search of the surrounding area was also conducted to attempt to locate any patients that may have attempted to flee the scene.

"Checking the video from the store, we found a number of vehicles that came in and picked up a lot of the folks that were in that trailer, that survived the trip", McManus said.

"The truck was loaded with people", Hood said.

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"We are very fortunate that there weren't 38 people who were locked inside of this vehicle dead", he said. All were taken to several hospitals. The truck remained in the Walmart parking lot until mid-morning on Sunday when it was towed away for further investigation. The driver is expected to face state and federal charges. "This happens quite frequently under cover of night". The construction of the wall to combat undocumented immigrants and crime was one of US President Donald Trump's key campaign promises.