A MASSIVE police response was underway in Texas after 46 migrants were found dead inside a tractor-trailer on Monday evening.
Forty-six people were found dead inside the tractor-trailer on the southwest side of San Antonio, Texas, Lackland Air Force Base, the San Antonio Police Department said in a Monday night press conference.
The people were found after a worker heard a cry for help – leading to “stacks of bodies” being found inside the tractor-trailer.
The 18-wheeler was located on the 9600 block of Quintana Rd., near New Laredo Highway.
Police said the 46 bodies found have been triaged and 16 additional people – 12 adults and four pediatric – were discovered conscious and transported to nearby hospitals.
Hospital transports began at 6.07pm and the 16 people rescued are currently “fighting for their lives in the hospital.”
“The patients that we saw were hot to the touch … no signs of water in the vehicle or visible working AC inside,” an official said.
The San Antonio Fire Department explained that the victims suffered heat-related injuries like heat stroke and exhaustion.
A federal investigation is now underway and first responders who found the bodies in the truck are receiving counseling.
Three people were taken into custody following the deadly discovery, but it is unclear if they are “absolutely connected to this or not,” SAPD Chief William McManus said.
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In the wake of the discovery, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said: “Flight of migrants seeking refuge is always a humanitarian crisis.
“Tonight we’re dealing with a horrific human tragedy.”
Selon The Texas Tribune, the shocking find was made near the intersection of Cassin Drive and Quintana Road.
An investigation was underway at the scene after an 18-wheeler was discovered with undocumented migrants inside, Nouvelles 4 San Antonio explique.
SAPD officers were searching the nearby surroundings for the truck’s driver, who appeared to abandon the tractor-trailer prior to authorities locating it, selon Le New York Times.
Sources also told KSAT cette 16 people were transported to area hospitals with different conditions.
Helicopter footage showed police vehicles, ambulances, and fire trucks on the scene as it appears an investigation is underway.
Footage from near the scene was shared on Twitter by KSAT’s Leigh Waldman, qui a écrit: “In route to a possible human smuggling case off of Quintana Rd on the South/Southeast side.”
A follow-up image shared by the reporter showed a San Antonio Fire Department’s Mass Casualty Evacuation Ambulance nearby the semi-truck.
“We spoke with neighbors in the area,” Waldman said in another tweet.
“They’re shocked and horrified, telling us that people come here for a better life and to work and this is the reality they’re met with.”
Border patrol officers arrived at the scene, which was located alongside railroad tracks, at around 8pm on Monday.
KSAT’s Patty Santos shared a photo on Twitter of first responders “walking along the railroad tracks with thermal imaging cameras looking for people in the woods nearby.”