Four people have been killed in what authorities call a smuggling incident in South Texas just days after dozens of migrants were found dead in a tractor-trailer.
On Thursday afternoon, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson posted on social media that four people, described by the department as “immigrants,” had died in a crash in Encinal, Texas.
The department has added that law enforcement “had suspected the driver of human trafficking” and was trying to evade authorities at the time of the crash. Three people were also seriously injured in the wreckage, authorities said.
Thursday’s deadly crash comes after another fatal people-trafficking incident near San Antonio on Monday. According to local news channel WBNS, 53 migrants have now died as a result.
According to the Associated Press, authorities made the horrifying discovery after a city worker approaching the truck heard someone yell for help. Inside the truck, which was parked on a side road, were the bodies of migrants from Mexico and Central America hoping to reach the US
An official told the AP that the truck had passed a border inspection post in Laredo, Texas prior to the discovery of the bodies.
Originally, authorities in San Antonio said 46 immigrants had died, while 16 others, including four children, were taken to hospital for heat stroke and heat exhaustion. On Tuesday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard increased the number of fatalities to 50, which was increased to 53 on Thursday.
A Homeland Security official told the AP Monday’s incident was the deadliest human smuggling attempt in the United States.
Four men have been arrested and are now facing federal charges in connection with Monday’s fatal incident near San Antonio, according to ABC News.
In a Fox News appearance Thursday, Texas Department of Public Safety Lieutenant Chris Olivarez said the federal government is to blame for their lack of aid.
“Well, this is another example, a clear example, of what the state of Texas needs to do to take on this responsibility to secure the border because the federal government is failing to secure the border,” he said.
He also suggested that cases like Thursday’s deadly crash are not uncommon in Texas.
“We’re seeing an increase in people smuggling across the southern border, where these people smugglers are putting these immigrants in dangerous situations by smuggling them in commercial vehicles and trailers and wooden boxes and car trunks,” he said.
Following the news of the deaths Monday, Republican Governor of Texas Greg Abbott blamed on President Joe Biden and his administration.
“At least 42 people found dead in migrant trucks in Texas. These deaths are on Biden. They are the result of his deadly open border policy. They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law,” he posted. Twitter.
news week contacted the Texas Department of Public Safety for further comment.