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Human trafficking tragedy claims 10 lives in US

IANS | Washinton |

One more person has died after more than 30 persons were found in a tractor-trailer parked outside a Walmart in San Antonio in the US state of Texas, making the death toll to 10, officials said.

Nine undocumented immigrants died after being trapped inside a tractor-trailer at a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio, officials confirmed Sunday afternoon.

The crime came to light when a man in the truck asked a Walmart employee for water. The employee brought water for the man and called the police, Xinhua news agency reported.

Police were then called to the parking lot and found eight dead and 31 injured inside the trailer. A ninth victim died in the hospital and several people are still in critical condition at local hospitals.

San Antonio fire chief Charles Hood said the people were in the trailer without any type of liquid. In the midsummer heat of Texas, the trailer did not have a working air conditioning system, said Hood.

These kinds of horrific tragedies are occurring with shocking frequency in San Antonio, which has become a center of human smuggling and trafficking.

On July 7, agents found 72 persons from Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala and El Salvador inside a locked trailer in the same part of town. The next day, they found 33 persons from Mexico and Guatemala inside a trailer that had stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint. In another incident last week, border patrol agents found 16 persons inside a locked trailer.