9 die in immigrantsmuggling attempt in sweltering truck

first_imgSAN ANTONIO — At least nine people died after being crammed into a sweltering tractor-trailer found parked outside a Wal-Mart in the midsummer Texas heat, victims of what authorities said on Sunday was an immigrant-smuggling attempt gone wrong.The driver was arrested, and nearly 20 others rescued from the rig were hospitalized in dire condition, many with extreme dehydration and heatstroke, officials said.“We’re looking at a human-trafficking crime,” said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, calling it “a horrific tragedy.”One U.S. official said Sunday evening that 17 of those rescued were being treated for injuries that were considered life-threatening. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the information has not been publicly released.Authorities were called to the San Antonio parking lot late Saturday or early Sunday and found eight people dead inside the truck. A ninth victim died at the hospital, said Liz Johnson, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.The victims “were very hot to the touch. So these people were in this trailer without any signs of any type of water,” San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said.last_img read more