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8 people found dead in truck in Texas

8 people found dead in truck in Texas

A police officer works on a crime scene after eight people believed to be illegal immigrants being smuggled into the United States were found dead inside a sweltering 18-wheeler trailer parked behind a Walmart store in San Antonio, Texas, U.S. July 23, 2017.

He said they had no water and that the air conditioning in the truck was broken. San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood said the patients were hot to the touch, with heart rates as high as 130 beats per minute.

Hood said it was a mass casualty incident.

The Walmart employee who discovered the tractor trailer said they called authorities after they heard a man inside of it pleading for water.

Dozens of others were suffering from heat-related ailments in what San Antonio Police Chief William McManus called a "horrific tragedy" and a "human trafficking crime".

The case appears to be a human smuggling operation, but police do not know the country of origin, destination or ages of the deceased or injured, Lopez said. The people in the trailer included adults in their 20s and 30s, and at least two young children.

San Antonio is a few hours' drive from the border with Mexico's Nuevo Leon state, and illegal immigration into the USA is a daily occurrence. The National Weather Service said the temperature in San Antonio hit 101 degrees just before 5 p.m. Saturday and didn't dip below 90 degrees until after 10 p.m.

The driver of that trailer has been arrested.

Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says some of the survivors have indicated they were coming from Mexico. Surveillance video shows people coming to meet the semi truck, and take people from the trailer.

They have been taken to seven hospitals in the local area.

A security guard at a Walmart in the southwest of the city received a tipoff from an unknown individual that a tractor-trailer in the store's parking lot was full of migrants, said Joe Arrington, a spokesman for the San Antonio Fire Department.

Authorities have not said whether the rig was locked when cops arrived, or whether it was used to smuggle the almost 40 people across the border into the US.

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