Border Patrol finds 33 migrants 'close to perishing' in sweltering truck in Texas

Officials said it was near 100 degrees outside when the migrants were found locked in a U-Haul


By Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times

VAN HORN, Texas — U.S. Border Patrol agents possibly prevented a tragedy after finding 33 undocumented migrants inside a sweltering cargo truck in Van Horn, Texas.

The migrants were "close to perishing due to excessive heat and lack of fresh air" inside the cargo space of a U-Haul box truck, a Border Patrol news release stated. Van Horn is about 120 miles east of El Paso.

This photo shows several dozen migrants crammed inside a U-Haul box after they were found by Border Patrol agents.
This photo shows several dozen migrants crammed inside a U-Haul box after they were found by Border Patrol agents. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

The smuggling attempt was discovered around 10 p.m. June 10 by agents checking suspicious activity near the McDonald's restaurant in Van Horn, officials said.

The Border Patrol noted it was near 100 degrees outside when the migrants were found locked in the cargo truck.

Border Patrol Special Operations Group emergency medical technicians treated the migrants for dehydration and heat-related illness, officials said. Twelve migrants were taken to hospitals in West Texas for medical treatment. The migrants were detained after recovering.

“Had our heroic agents not been able to free these trapped undocumented migrants, we could have seen 33 miserable deaths in this event,” Big Bend Sector Border Patrol Chief Sean L. McGoffin said in a statement. “Smugglers do not care what type of misery they put people through as they take their money.”

Details on any smuggling-related arrests in connection with the incident were not released. U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations is handling the case.

(c)2021 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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