46 Found Dead in 18-Wheeler in San Antonio

16 others hospitalized
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2022 12:04 AM CDT
Updated Jun 28, 2022 7:08 AM CDT
46 Found Dead in 18-Wheeler in San Antonio
Police block the scene where a tractor trailer with multiple dead bodies was discovered, Monday, June 27, 2022, in San Antonio.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – Inside an 18-wheeler in San Antonio, Texas, a horrific sight: 46 bodies, and another 16 people still alive but in dire shape. Shortly before 6pm Monday, a worker in the area called police after hearing a call for help from the truck, the Texas Tribune reports. Authorities arrived to find a body outside the truck and many more inside; in addition, some bodies were found strewn alongside a several-block area—authorities believe they tried to escape the situation inside the truck by jumping out. The victims ranged in age from teens to adults, KSAT reports. The tractor-trailer's refrigeration did not appear to be working, authorities do not believe the people had access to water, and many were likely too weak to escape the vehicle. The local temperature hit 100 degrees Monday.

Some of the bodies had been sprinkled with steak seasoning, likely in an effort to cover up the smell; authorities believe they were migrants being transported by human smugglers. "We’re not supposed to open up a truck and see stacks of bodies in there," the city's fire chief says. Authorities aren't yet sure if everyone who had been inside the truck has been accounted for. The three people taken into custody in the case were not with the truck when it was found. The 12 adults and four minors taken to hospitals were suffering from heat stroke and heat exhaustion, but the fire chief says he's "very hopeful" they will survive. "They had families... and were likely trying to find a better life. It’s nothing short of a horrific human tragedy," says San Antonio's mayor. (Read more San Antonio stories.)

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