Human trafficking: 8 found dead inside truck

Human Trafficking In Texas: 8 Found Dead Inside Truck In Walmart Parking Lot

Police are calling the incident a horrific human trafficking case, according to The Associated Press. Among the people inside the trailer, two were school-aged children.

Authorities said the air conditioner inside the vehicle was broken and that the people inside it did not have access to water.

"With heat strokes or heat injuries, a lot of them are going to have some irreversible brain damage", Hood said.

Hood told reporters, "it was a mass casualty for us".

After giving water to the person, the employee then called police.

"Late last night we got a call from a Walmart employee to conduct a welfare check on a tractor trailer that was parked in the lot here".

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus described it as a "horrible tragedy", and said other suspects had fled the scene as police officers arrived.

McManus initially called it a case of human trafficking and at the end of the conference said that this "is not an isolated incident".

The police chief said store security footage showed that some vehicles came to pick up some travelers who were on the truck and who had made it out alive.

On Sunday, San Antonio-based U.S. Attorney Richard Durbin Jr. said those responsible for the deaths are "ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo".

Numerous people who survived the heat are in the hospital in serious or even critical condition, recovering from heat-related illnesses.

"So you're looking at a lot of heat stroke, a lot of dehydration", he added.

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. They say it's a horrific human trafficking case.

The Department of Homeland Security are assisting in the investigation. "The driver and whomever else we find that's involved in this will be facing state and federal charges", McManus added.

San Antonio is located close to the Mexican border and has experienced hot and dry weather this week with temperatures topping 100F (38C). Once they recover, those victims will be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) according to San Antonio police. The injured were taken to different hospitals, some by helicopter, he said. As we work to coordinate a humanitarian and legal response to this bad tragedy, I find comfort in the compassionate response of our first-responders, our local medical professionals and the outpouring of support from our community.

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