The rescue service was alerted to the scene Monday night local time after someone nearby heard screams for help from the truck. This person must have peeped through a truck door that was partially open and saw many dead people.
On Monday evening, local authorities referred to the victims as immigrants, according to CNN. There is little information yet about their identities or where they come from.
June was the hottest month ever in San Antonio and the truck passengers are said to have died in the heat. According to the rescue service, no water was found in the truck, which was found abandoned in a sparsely populated area, according to the New York Times.
Local police believe some people tried to jump out of the truck when bodies were found in several blocks and say they don’t yet know how many were in the truck in total, The Texas Tribune reports.
– It is nothing but a tragedy, says San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg at a press conference.
Similar event in 2017
Of the 16 who were taken to hospital for treatment, four are children and 12 adults.
Three people have been arrested, but according to CNN, it remains unclear what their connection to the incident was.
In 2017, San Antonio police found 39 people in similar circumstances. Ten people were killed then and the truck driver was sentenced to life in prison in 2018.