The police of the U.S. city of San Antonio, Texas, found the bodies of eight people, including two school-age children, along with 30 others who are injured, in a trailer parked near a supermarket, local authorities said on Sunday.
Police are now investigating a suspected human trafficking ring and it is believed the people found in the truck have been smuggled into the U.S. illegally.
About 17 people in the trailer were transported to area hospitals in critical condition, while 13 others were transported with less severe injuries.
Hood said the people in the truck were "very hot to the touch" and that there were no signs of water inside. "It should sadden us all that eight people took their last breath, and dozens more are being treated with serious symptoms of heat exhaustion and dehydration due to a tragic situation that often goes unnoticed", he stated.
A store employee became suspicious after someone got out of the trailer begging for water late Saturday night.
McManus initially called it a case of human trafficking and at the end of the conference said that this "is not an isolated incident". Among the dead were two school-age children, and others in their 20s and 30s, he said. He said someone from the truck approached him and asked for a glass of water. First responders say there were so many victims, they had to be spread among seven different hospitals. Surveillance video shows people coming to meet the semi truck, and take people from the trailer.
The San Antonio police department and fire department are working a scene in the Walmart parking lot located on Interstate 35 and Poteet Jourdanton Highway.
Walmart customers went about their shopping when the store reopened, though a large area of the parking lot remained cordoned off with police tape.
The US Department of Homeland Security and immigration officials are assisting local law enforcement with the investigation. Human trafficking is one of the sickest crimes imaginable, and let's pray that everyone responsible for this tragedy is found and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
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