Eight people were found dead Sunday in a truck in a parking lot in San Antonio Texas in an apparent people trafficking case authorities said
Authorities are calling it a "human trafficking case" and were tipped off by an alert Walmart employee.
COPS are probing a suspected human trafficking ring after eight immigrants, including two children, were found dead inside a truck in a Walmart vehicle park. He said they had no water and that the air conditioning in the truck was broken.
"With heat strokes or heat injuries, a lot of them are going to have some irreversible brain damage", Hood said.
U.S. Immigrant and Customs Enforcement agents and San Antonio police were also called to the scene.
Hood told reporters, "it was a mass casualty for us".
"We are assuming that it probably hasn't been there too long, prior to the police being called, because an individual who had gotten out of the back of that truck approached the employee", McManus said.
While he called it a "horrific tragedy", the police chief said the discovery "is not an isolated incident". After an initial search of the area around the Walmart, it is not known whether others escaped the truck before it was discovered by police.
"With heat stroke, you sometimes have neurological deficits that you're never going to be able to recover from".
The truck driver faces both state and federal charges.
"By any standard, the horrific crime uncovered last night ranks as a stark reminder of why human smuggling networks must be pursued, caught and punished".
Police say they checked surveillance video, which shows vehicles had arrived and picked up other people from the tractor-trailer.
Editor's Note: Initial reports indicated that two children were among the dead. All survivors were taken to several hospitals.
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.
San Antonio is just a few hours drive from Mexico's Nuevo Leon border state, and many Mexicans try to enter the United States illegally.
The store captured some of the incident on camera, but declined to describe or release any of the footage to CNN, Walmart corporate spokesman Nathan Barr said. In all, 30 people were transported to local hospitals, with about half of those being airlifted to trauma centers. As we work to coordinate a humanitarian and legal response to this bad tragedy, I find comfort in the compassionate response of our first-responders, our local medical professionals and the outpouring of support from our community.
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