On Sunday, San Antonio-based U.S. Attorney Richard Durbin Jr. said those responsible for the deaths are "ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo".
Authorities haven't released the identity of the driver.
In the May 2003 case, the immigrants were being taken from South Texas to Houston. "These people were helpless in the hands of their transporters", Durbin said. Once the people are treated for their injuries, they are expected to be turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A person from the truck approached a Walmart employee in a parking lot and asked for water late Saturday or early Sunday, San Antonio police said.
Ten immigrants being smuggled into the U.S. in a tractor-trailer have died.
Breaking 2:28am - SAFD confirms multiple bodies found inside a trailer parked outside a Walmart in SW San Antonio. The employee handed over the water but quickly called the police, who immediately arrested the driver of the truck.
A person from the truck approached a Walmart employee in a auto park and asked for water late on Saturday night or early Sunday morning, said police in San Antonio, where temperatures on Saturday reached 38C (101F).
McManus called it a "horrific" tragedy, but said the discovery "is not an isolated incident".
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All survivors were rush to hospitals showing signs of heat related illness and dehydration. He said there was no air conditioning in the trailer, leaving people "very hot to the touch". Store surveillance video showed that a number of vehicles had come and picked up survivors from the trailer prior to officials discovering it, so it's possible a lot more than 38 people had been inside.
The victims ranged in age from children to adults in their thirties.
"If they would have spent another night in that environment, we would have had 38 people who would not have survived".
He called it "very sad".
Authorities said someone had contacted the manager at the Walmart, which is located at I-35 and Highway 16 on the city's southwest side.
"The driver is in custody and will be charged". The driver of the truck has been arrested.
As it was, Hood said, 30 were hospitalized - 17 in critical condition. "We treat it like you would do an airline crash", explained San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood. The construction of the wall to combat undocumented immigrants and crime was one of US President Donald Trump's key campaign promises.