SAN ANTONIO – There were 38 people found packed in a tractor-trailer Sunday morning. Eight of them were dead. The trailer was parked outside of a San Antonio Walmart. Police are describing it as a horrific human trafficking case.
A Horrific Tragedy
Among the 38 people, two were school-age children, reported Fox San Antonio. Twenty people were taken to area hospitals in critical condition, and another eight had “less critical” injuries.
“We’re looking at human trafficking crime here this evening,” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said, adding that it was “a horrific tragedy.”
Driver in Custody
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is also looking into the incident. The driver of the vehicle, who was not identified, has been taken into custody, according Fox 29.
Temperature Hit 101 Degrees
Authorities said the vehicle did not have a working air conditioning system when it was found. 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.
A store employee who called SAPD after being approached by someone from the truck who was asking for water first alerted police.
“Late last night we got a call from a Walmart employee about a welfare check in a tractor-trailer that was parked in the lot here,” McManus said.
More Than 38 People Found Packed in Trailer
According to police, surveillance video from the store showed “a number of vehicles” picking up people who survived the trip that were inside the trailer.
Some people fled into the woods, and police will conduct another search in the morning, the chief said.
The origin of the truck is still unknown.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel will investigate after those needing medical attention have been treated, authorities said.
(Photo: Screenshot SAPD Facebook video)