WASHINGTON (AA) – US President Joe Biden has described as “horrifying and heartbreaking” the deaths that occurred on Tuesday of 50 migrants whose bodies were found inside a tractor-trailer in the state of Texas.
“Our prayers are with those who lost their lives, their loved ones, as well as those still fighting for their lives. As always, I am grateful for the swift work of all of the Federal, state, and local first responders,” he said in a statement.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said 22 Mexicans were among the dead as well as seven from Guatemala and two from Honduras. The nationalities of 19 others have yet to be identified.
According to initial reports, the tragedy in San Antonio was caused by smugglers or human traffickers.
“This incident underscores the need to go after the multi-billion dollar criminal smuggling industry preying on migrants and leading to far too many innocent deaths,” said Biden. “Exploiting vulnerable individuals for profit is shameful, as is political grandstanding around tragedy, and my Administration will continue to do everything possible to stop human smugglers and traffickers from taking advantage of people who are seeking to enter the United States between ports of entry.”
Police said temperatures in southcentral Texas hit 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius) on Monday when the bodies were discovered.