Some 50 irregular migrants have been found dead in the back of a lorry in San Antonio, Texas, in which they were smuggled into the country, it was reported Tuesday.
After the gruesome discovery, US President Joseph Biden and his Mexican colleague Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) are to hold an emergency Summit.
It is a tremendous misfortune. So far there are 50 dead: 22 from Mexico, 7 from Guatemala, two from Honduras, and 19 still without information about their nationality, AMLO said in his traditional morning press conference, during which he also announced he would be meeting with Biden on July 12 in Washington, DC.
The White House described the news as absolutely horrible. The people were held in an unrefrigerated truck despite the sweltering heat, with temperatures reaching 39.5 degrees Celsius.
Three people have reportedly been arrested in connection with this incident. We are closely following the absolutely horrible and heartbreaking information from San Antonio, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said aboard Air Force One on her way to the NATO summit in Madrid.
The discovery is one of the worst tragedies involving migrants in the United States in recent years and comes five years after a similar incident also in San Antonio, which is just hours from the Mexican border.
At this point, we have processed 46 bodies, San Antonio fire chief Charles Hood told AFP. He added that 16 people - 12 adults and four children - had been taken to a hospital alive and conscious. The patients we saw were hot to the touch, suffering from heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and no sign of water in the vehicle... There was no evidence of a functioning air conditioning unit, he added.
Tonight we are dealing with a horrible human tragedy, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg lamented at a press conference. I urge everyone to think compassionately and pray for the dead, the injured, and the families, he added. We hope that those responsible for putting these people in such inhumane conditions will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The investigation, for alleged human trafficking, is being conducted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).