SAN ANTONIO: At least 42 migrants were found dead inside a tractor-trailer on Monday in San Antonio, Texas, the state's Governor Greg Abbott said, in what appears to be one of the most deadly recent incidents of human smuggling along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard called the suffocation of the migrants in the truck the "tragedy in Texas" on Twitter and said the local consulate was en route to the scene, though the nationalities of the victims had not been confirmed. A U.S. law enforcement official said there were more than 40 people dead without providing additional details.
The truck was found next to railroad tracks in a remote area on the city's southern outskirts, San Antonio's KSAT television reported.
There have been a record number of migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months, which has sparked criticisms of the immigration policies of U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat.
Abbott placed the blame for the deaths on Biden's policies on Twitter, saying they "show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law."
The San Antonio police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Temperatures in San Antonio, which is about 160 miles (250 km) from the Mexican border, swelled to a high of 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius) on Monday with high humidity.
In July 2017, ten migrants died after being transported in a tractor-trailer that was discovered by San Antonio police in a Wal-Mart parking lot. The driver, James Matthew Bradley, Jr., was sentenced the following year to life in prison for his role in the smuggling operation.
(Reporting by Ted Hesson, Kaylee Greenlee Beal , Rami Ayyub, Eric Beech and Costas Pitas; Additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz in Mexico City; Writing by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Sandra Maler and Christian Schmollinger)