Published: Mon, July 24, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

'Horrific Tragedy': 8 Dead in Tractor Trailer at Walmart

'Horrific Tragedy': 8 Dead in Tractor Trailer at Walmart

In what has been described as a "human trafficking crime,"' police and emergency officials, claim the people found in a trailer parked at the #Wal Mart parking lot- suffered heat stroke due to "sweltering" conditions.

It's not clear how long the people had been in the truck or how long they had been without air conditioning and water. The investigation is now in the hands of Homeland Security.

Without providing many more details, McManus said police have the driver in custody and that federal agencies are working with them on this "horrible tragedy". They discovered an alien smuggling venture gone horribly wrong. At least twenty more were in serious condition. Of those victims, 17 were transported with life-threatening injuries and 13 had injuries or illness that was not immediately life-threatening.

The tractor-trailer was towed away later in the morning. The employee gave the man water and then called the police.

Prosecutors said the driver in that case heard the immigrants screaming for their lives as they succumbed to the stifling heat inside his truck but he refused to free them.

Hood said those in the trailer were left there without any signs of water.

The victims ranged in age from children to adults in their thirties.

"We are very fortunate that there weren't 38 people who were locked inside of this vehicle dead", he says.

He called it "very sad". Officials stated the migrants told them they had been banging on the walls of the trucks for hours to get someone to release them.

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The lack of windows on the trailer in San Antonio may have reduced the temperature inside by a couple degrees because of the lack of direct sunlight, but the heat and moisture from the bodies of everyone inside would have added heat and humidity.

They were found after an employee of the megastore called the authorities.

Hood said it was a mass casualty incident.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials defended the use of tough methods to fight human smuggling.

Police were alerted to the truck a little after midnight on Sunday.

"Some went into the woods, we're going to have to do that search again in the morning, when we have some light", McManus said. The store's surveillance video is part of the ongoing investigation, McManus said. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Williams was not eligible for capital punishment and the court also said that U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal, who presided over the trial, should have sentenced Williams on those counts.

"We flooded downtown San Antonio and our critical hospitals with patients tonight", Hood said at the news conference.

- April 9, 2008: 54 Burmese migrants suffocated in the back of an airtight refrigerated truck in Ranong, Thailand.

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