UVALDE, Texas – Two migrants were found dead and at least 10 were hospitalized Friday after South Texas police received a call that they were “asphyxiating” in a train car near the US-Mexico border.
The Uvalde Police Department said the Border Patrol was notified of the phone call and was able to stop the train. About 15 migrants were found inside, the agency said.
The condition of all hospitalized patients was not known. University Health in San Antonio tweeted that it received two male patients, one in critical condition and the other in serious condition.
Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez told the San Antonio-Express News that dispatchers received a 911 call around 3:50 p.m. from an unknown person seeking help. The train was stopped near the town of Knipa, less than 100 miles from the southern border.
“We’re still trying to determine if it was someone inside the vehicle,” Rodriguez said. “We believe it was from inside one of the cars.”
More than last summer 50 migrants died after dozens of people were found in the back of a powerful tractor that was abandoned on the outskirts of San Antonio. The tragedy was the deadliest smuggling episode on America’s southern border, prompting officials to vow to step up police efforts.
Migrants routinely pass through Uvalde, leading to high-speed car chases that lead to school lockdowns in the area. After the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uwald last May, when a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers, Texas lawmakers concluded in a report that the frequency of lockdowns may have led to a “diminished sense of vigilance” about safety.
Uvalde police said the investigation will be handled by the Union Pacific Railroad. A spokeswoman for Union Pacific had no immediate comment Friday night.
Editor’s note: An earlier edition of this story cited the Uvalde Police Department as initially reporting the incident as derailment.
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