In what has been described as a "human trafficking crime,"' police and emergency officials, claim the people found in a trailer parked at the #Wal Mart parking lot- suffered heat stroke due to "sweltering" conditions. Of those survivors, at least 20 people were in extremely critical or serious condition and the others had lesser injuries.
"The truck was loaded with people", San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood said in a joint press conference with SAPD.
"They were very hot to the touch".
The Walmart employee who discovered the tractor trailer said they called authorities after they heard a man inside of it pleading for water. Air ambulances (AirLife), and the SAFD Ambus (mobile mass casualty transportation vehicle) were also both utilized to transport the multitude of patients we encountered. A store working called police after a person from the trailer approached him asking for water.
"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", Homan said.
Eight people were found dead Saturday evening in an 18-wheeler parked behind a Walmart in San-Antonio, Texas.
The driver of the truck was arrested at the scene, but the hunt is on for more suspects, and the Department of Homeland Security has joined the investigation.
Police say they checked surveillance video, which shows vehicles had arrived and picked up other people from the tractor-trailer.
He says federal investigators will work with San Antonio police to identify those responsible.
The exact number of people initially in the trailer is unclear.
"Some went into the woods, we're going to have to do that search again in the morning, when we have some light", McManus said.
All survivors were rush to hospitals showing signs of heat related illness and dehydration.
The driver of the truck has been taken into custody.
Tractor-trailer in San Antonio containing over 30 people.
San Antonio has a policy of not inquiring about the immigration status of people who come into contact with city officials or police. The organization also notes that many migrants are abused during the smuggling process and made to endure severe conditions, or even die.
Of the 38 victims, eight were pronounced dead at the scene. "Fortunately we came across this one", McManus said.
US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has been to Mexico twice to discuss immigration, human trafficking and the spiraling cross-border drugs trade. "This happens quite frequently under cover of night".