Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images
The 46 migrants found dead in a truck that reached an estimated temperature of 150°F were hot to the touch and ran out of waterreported a fire chief.
Rescue teams said they found the bodies in a pile when they made the horrific discovery in San Antonio, Texas on Monday.
The San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood told reporters that the victims were “hot to the touch”.
He said: “We’re not supposed to open up a truck and see piles of bodies there.”
Hood revealed that there was no sign of water and that the truck did not appear to have air conditioning.
San Antonio is about 160 miles from the Mexican border and the temperature in the city reached 103°F on Monday, so it is estimated that the temperature inside the vehicle reached 150°F.
Three suspects were taken into custody after the deadly discovery, but it’s unclear if they’re “absolutely connected to this or not,” San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus said.
The Police said they found 16 victims, 12 adults and four children, conscious in the back of the truck. They were taken to local hospitals..
Hood revealed that the survivors are in the hospital suffering from severe heat stroke and exhaustion.
Authorities have not yet confirmed the cause of death of the 46 migrants.
The truck was registered to a man from Alamo, Texas, the Washington Post reported.
However, the man’s son-in-law, Isaac Limón, told the outlet that a smuggler fraudulently used the number on the truck.
“It was a perfect setup,” he told the outlet, adding that his father-in-law was shocked by the incident.
Local resident Ruby Chavez, 53, told the New York Times that the area where the bodies were discovered is a known “drop off point” for migrants.
National Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas described the find as a “tragic loss of life.”
He wrote: “I am heartbroken by the tragic loss of life today and I am praying for those who are still fighting for their lives.
“Too many lives have been lost as people, including families, women and children, take this dangerous journey.”
Joaquin Castro, who represents Texas’s 20th congressional district, said, “This horrible tragedy is a reminder that we need a safe and orderly way for people to apply for asylum.”
But Governor Greg Abbott has claimed that the Biden administration’s “open borders policy” led to the tragic event.
It is one of the deadliest incidents involving migrants trying to cross into the United States from Mexico in decades.
In 2017, 10 migrants died after becoming trapped inside a truck parked at a Walmart in San Antonio. In 2003, 19 migrants were found in a heated tractor trailer while traveling to Houston.
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