Two migrants were found dead and 10 others were hospitalized after authorities found them ‘suffocating’ inside a shipping container on a train near the southern border Friday, according to the Uvalde Police Department.
“These individuals, they put themselves in so much danger, trying to come over to U.S.,” Daniel Rodriguez, the chief of police for the city of Uvalde told the New York Times. “It’s just tragic that two people have to lose their lives. It’s a tragedy in a town that has seen a lot of tragedy.”
“We need to be addressing what’s going on here in South Texas,” Uvalde’s Mayor Don McLaughlin Jr. said, the Times also reported.
The shipping container had been “wired shut,” according to McLaughlin, and had to be pried open to release the sweltering migrants.
“Approximately 15 immigrants were discovered to be in need of immediate medical attention; five of the immigrants were flown out to San Antonio area hospitals; five were transported to area hospitals,” UPD said. “Two of the immigrants were pronounced deceased.”
The department received a 911 call from an unknown party Friday afternoon advising there were “numerous undocumented immigrants ‘suffocating’ inside of a train car.”
Footage provided by Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin to Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin shows medical helicopters arriving on scene to transport the critically ill.
United States Border Patrol were able to stop the train 2-3 miles east of Knippa, Texas, where they found approximately fifteen immigrants in need of immediate medical attention. Knippa is roughly 100 miles from the southern border.
The train had sat in the sun on the tracks for about three hours, Uvalde’s Mayor McLaughlin told Texas Public Radio, describing the medical response as “enormous.”
“There were more people than we had ambulances [currently] available in Uvalde. We called them in from everywhere — Kerrville, San Antonio, Hondo, and locally in Uvalde,” McLaughlin also told the outlet
TPR reported that United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations was looking at the possibility of human smuggling, but declined to provide details.
“We are heartbroken to learn of yet another tragic incident of migrants taking the dangerous journey,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tweeted Friday.
Mayorkas added his thanks to the authorities supporting the investigation and said DHS will work with the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office on holding the responsible parties accountable.
“Smugglers are callous and only care about making a profit,” he also said.
UPD says Union Pacific will lead the investigation.
The Union Pacific train was traveling east from Eagle Pass to San Antonio, KENS reported.
“Union Pacific is deeply saddened by this incident and the tragedies occurring at the border. We take the safety of all individuals seriously and work tirelessly with law enforcement partners to detect illegal items and people riding inside or on our rail cars,” Union Pacific said in a statement, the outlet also reported.
Watch coverage from KENS moments after Border Patrol discovered the migrants.
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