Two dead, several injured after migrants were found “suffocating” inside locked train car
By William Melhado, The Texas Tribune
“Two dead, several injured after migrants were found “suffocating” inside locked train car” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
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Two undocumented immigrants died Friday afternoon after being trapped inside of a train car a few miles east of Knippa.
There were 15 people trapped inside the car in need of immediate medical attention, according to a statement from the Uvalde Police Department. Five of those individuals were flown to San Antonio hospitals, while five others were sent to area hospitals for treatment.
U.S. Border Patrol was able to reach the group after receiving a call at 3:50 p.m. notifying them that people traveling by rail were “suffocating” inside of a train car.
“911 got a call — don’t know if it was from a family member or one of the migrants who were locked in the shipping container,” Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told Texas Public Radio.
McLaughlin said that the train was locked and baking in the sun on the tracks for three hours.
The initial reports are reminiscent of a tragedy that occurred June 27 in which 53 people died in an abandoned tractor trailer near Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
The incident was the single deadliest migrant smuggling case in U.S. history, claiming victims who were citizens of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Authorities haven’t said where the people in the train car were coming from, but the number of people seeking asylum in the United States has reached historic levels.
In the fiscal year 2022, which ended in September, Border Patrol agents arrested migrants 2.4 million times — a record-breaking number.
Many of those people entering at the southern border are fleeing an oppressive government and economic disaster in their home countries.
Texas lawmakers are considering a striking border security bill, House Bill 20, that would create a state unit of officers empowered to “repel” and arrest migrants crossing the border outside a port of entry and return migrants to Mexico if they were seen trying to illegally cross the border.
The bill has the support of Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan who says the state’s “border and humanitarian crisis is a must-pass issue for the Texas House this year.”
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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2023/03/24/uvalde-county-migrant-deaths-train-car/.
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