8 found dead in tractor-tailer parked outside Texas Walmart

8 found dead in tractor-tailer parked outside Texas Walmart

Authorities said an employee at the Walmart encountered a person who was disoriented and asking for water at the store located at I-35 and Highway 16 on the city's southwest side.

McManus said events like this are all too common and warned the public to contact police if they see groups of people exiting from large vehicles like tractor-trailers.

Numerous victims looked to be in their 20s and 30s, and there were also apparently two school-age children, the police chief said.

Most of the victims were in their early 20's and 30's, and two of the dead were young children, officials claim.

"We started extricating patients out of the back of a semi-truck ... we had another 20 patients that were either in extremely critical condition or very serious condition and they have been transported to a number of hospitals".

That's when authorities made the gruesome discovery: eight bodies and 30 suffering from various injuries, fire department spokesman Joe Arrington said.

The U.S. Homeland Security Department stepped in to take the lead in the investigation.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood, who stood alongside McManus at the press conference, said firefighters arrived on the scene at 12:26 a.m. local time, and began pulling the people out of the truck. An additional search will be conducted later this morning once the sun has risen. They are still investigating the case.

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McManus urged anyone who encounters potential instances of human trafficking, or individuals who appear to be fleeing such conditions to call 911.

While reviewing surveillance video, officers watched several cars drive up to the parked truck and then pick up people from inside. "All were victims of ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo", said Richard Durbin, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, in a statement.

"This happens quite frequently".

"We are very fortunate that there weren't 38 people who were locked inside of this vehicle dead", he says.

"It happens late at night, under darkness because they don't want to be discovered".

Illegal migration over the USA border with Mexico is an everyday fact.

Durbin also said federal investigators will work with San Antonio police to identify those responsible.

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