Police find 8 dead in Walmart parking lot, 17 in critical condition

Eight immigrants dead in semi trailer found at SA Walmart

Eight people were found by police in a sweltering tractor-trailer in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio, Texas, early Sunday morning.

"The employee then saw people lying unconscious in the truck, and others in critical condition", police chief William McManus said.

"[Seventeen] patients were transported [to the hospital] priority 1 (life threatening injury/illness) and 13 were transported priority 2 (not immediately life threatening)", the San Antonio Fire Department said in a statement.

Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says some of the survivors have indicated they were coming from Mexico.

A store employee became suspicious after someone got out of the trailer begging for water late Saturday night. Measures to harden global borders encourage would-be migrants to turn to smugglers and fear of deportation deters whistle-blowing, they said.

The driver of the truck, which did not have a working air conditioning system, is in custody.

Officers arrived at about 12:30 a.m.to find eight people deceased and dozens of others suffering from heat stroke or dehydration.

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Hood told reporters, "it was a mass casualty for us".

The driver of the vehicle has been arrested, police said.

At least eight people have been found dead, including two young "school-aged" children, after human traffickers left them inside a lorry in searing 37C heat.

An additional 28 were taken to hospital - 20 of them in a serious condition - after they were rescued from the vehicle that had been parked outside a Walmart, in San Antonio, Texas.

Mr McManus said the deadly discovery "is not an isolated incident". Most of the migrants are from Mexico and Central America seeking better-paying work in the United States. He was sentenced to 34 years in prison after multiple life sentences were overturned.

Experts have warned in recent months that tougher immigration policies could make it more hard to stop human trafficking.

"The truck was loaded with people", The New York Times quoted fire chief Charles Hood as saying.

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