Police officers in San Antonio discovered at least eight bodies inside a hot tractor-trailer that was parked outside a Walmart on Sunday morning.
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.
The driver was arrested and almost 20 others rescued from the lorry were taken to hospital in a serious condition, many with extreme dehydration and heatstroke. The truck's trailer didn't have a working air conditioner, San Antonio fire chief Charles Hood told reporters.
"We're looking at a human trafficking crime this evening", Mr McManus said.
"These networks have repeatedly shown a reckless disregard for those they smuggle, as last night's case demonstrates", Homan said in a statement.
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The driver of the truck was arrested at the scene, but the hunt is on for more suspects, and the Department of Homeland Security has joined the investigation.
With a high of 101 degrees (38 Celsius) in San Antonio on Saturday, the temperature inside a parked auto would have reached 120 degrees (49 Celsius) in 10 minutes, said Jan Null, a meteorology professor at San Jose State University who tracks US child deaths in vehicles on his website, www.NoHeatStroke.org.
Authorities said someone had contacted the manager at the Walmart, which is located at I-35 and Highway 16 on the city's southwest side.
In May of 2003, authorities found a tractor-trailer packed with more than 70 immigrants from Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic, CBS News reported.
McManus said, "this is not an isolated incident".
The victims' country of origin, destination, or ages remain unknown, though official interviews with survivors seem to indicate there may have been as many as 100 people in the truck at one point.
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Tractor-trailer in San Antonio containing over 30 people.
The driver of that trailer has been arrested.
The survivors have been spread around seven hospitals in the San Antonio area.
It was just the latest smuggling-by-truck attempt to end in tragedy.
The driver of the truck has not been identified, but San Antonio police took him into custody and he could face state and federal charges.
"We are very fortunate that there weren't 38 people who were locked inside of this vehicle dead", he says. In one of the deadliest cases on record in the USA, 19 immigrants locked inside a stifling rig died in Victoria, Texas, in 2003.
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