Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Eight people found dead in truck in Texas 'human trafficking crime'

Eight people found dead in truck in Texas 'human trafficking crime' Eight people found dead in truck in Texas 'human trafficking crime'
Christy Curtis | 24 July, 2017, 01:48

According to San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, authorities were notified by a Walmart employee, who had been approached by someone asking for water.

Authorities were alerted when one of the people inside the truck got out and asked staff at the nearby Walmart store for water shortly before 12.30am local time yesterday.

When they arrived on the scene, San Antonio Fire Department paramedics found eight people already dead and 20 others in "extremely critical" condition.

Hood told journalists at the scene that paramedics and firefighters who treated the victims found all had accelerated heartbeats when they were taken from the truck in the stifling heat. The police chief said that the employee gave the man water and then contacted the police. They are still investigating the case.

Without providing many more details, McManus said police have the driver in custody and that federal agencies are working with them on this "horrible tragedy".

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.

Hood said it was a mass casualty incident. The driver was arrested at the scene. Among the dead were two school-age children, and others in their 20s and 30s, he said. First responders say there were so many victims, they had to be spread among seven different hospitals.

McManus said, "this is not an isolated incident".

US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has been to Mexico twice to discuss immigration, human trafficking and the spiraling cross-border drugs trade.

In the May 2003 case, the immigrants were being taken from South Texas to Houston. Most of the migrants are from Mexico and Central America seeking better-paying work in the United States.

The driver of the truck was re-sentenced in 2011, is serving 34 years in prison.

Experts have warned in recent months that tougher immigration policies could make it more hard to stop human trafficking.

Investigators do not know where the truck came from or how long it had been sitting in the parking lot before police arrived.

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