At least 54 US-bound illegal immigrants died when the container truck they were in crashed in Mexico – with one official saying the speed of the vehicle and the weight of its human cargo caused the crash. (images below)
Dozens of bodies arranged in rows covered in white sheets were photographed laid across a roadway in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas On Thursday. Fifty-eight other people were also injured in the Chiapas calamity, many of them seriously, officials said according to the NYPost.
The deceased were believed to be people from Central American, some from Guatemala and Honduras.
As many as 200 illegals were packed in a cargo truck used to transport perishable goods that rolled over and crashed into a pedestrian bridge over a highway, causing deaths and serious injuries.
Survivors of the crash said they boarded the truck in Mexico, near the Guatemalan border, and paid between $2,500 and $3,500 to be transported to Mexico’s central state of Puebla.
The trailer broke open and spilled out people when the truck crashed on a sharp curve outside the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez in the state of Chiapas, according to video footage of the aftermath and civil protection authorities.
It is one of the worst accidents to befall illegal immigrants risking their lives to reach the United States since the 2010 massacre of 72 illegal immigrants by the Zetas drug cartel in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
‘It took a bend, and because of the weight of us people inside, we all went with it,’ said a shocked-looking Guatemalan man sitting at the scene in footage broadcast on social media.
‘The trailer couldn’t handle the weight of people.’
Luis Manuel Moreno, the head of the Chiapas state civil defense office, said about 21 of the injured had serious wounds and were taken to local hospitals. Dozens of Guatemalan people were named in lists of the injured published on social media.
Moreno said the apparent cause of the tragedy was the speed at which the truck was going combined with the weight of the truck’s human cargo that may have caused it to tip over.
Moreno reported that some of the survivors said they were from the neighboring country of Guatemala, including survivor Celso Pacheco who said the truck felt like it was speeding and then seemed to lose control under the weight of the people inside, AP reported.
Pacheco estimated there were eight to 10 young children in the cargo truck and said he was trying to reach the United States, but now he expected to be deported to Guatemala.
The illegal immigrants inside the cargo trailer were flipped, tossed, and crushed into a pile that mingled the living and the dead.
Mexico has recently cracked down on migrant caravans hiking north to seek asylum in the US, but the illegal transports have persisted. In October, stopped a caravan of six vehicles containing 652 Central American migrants heading towards America