At least 40 people were found dead on Monday in an abandoned 18-wheeler semi-truck in a remote part of southwest San Antonio, Texas, according to multiple news reports.
At least 16 others were found alive and were taken to a local hospital, according to KSAT 12, an ABC affiliate station.
The victims were believed to be undocumented migrants entering the US illegally, The New York Times reported, citing anonymous sources briefed on the emergency response.
At a press conference near the site of the truck on Monday evening, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said three people were held in custody. The investigation has since been turned over to Homeland Security Investigations, he said.
Chief Charles Hood of the San Antonio Fire Department confirmed at the press conference that 46 bodies have been “triaged, tagged, and declared deceased.”
The injured, who all suffered heat-related injuries, according to Hood, included 12 adults and four children. They were taken to nearby hospitals.
The bodies were found inside a refrigerated truck that appeared to have no working air conditioner, Hood said.
A video posted by the outlet shows a long line of emergency response vehicles and personnel at the scene, parked behind what appears to be the semi-truck in question.
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The tractor-trailer was found by the intersection of Quintana and Cassin roads located on the southwest side of San Antonio, according to KSAT.
The San Antonio Police Department was searching for the driver, who may have abandoned the truck before it was discovered, The Times reported.
A spokesman for the San Antonio Police Department said it was not handling further investigation and redirected questions to the Department of Homeland Security, which did not immediately respond for comment from Insider.
US Customs and Border Protection also did not respond Insider’s request for comment.