46 suspected migrants have been found dead in a truck in Texas. This was confirmed by the fire brigade on Monday evening (local time). The truck trailer was found near the city of San Antonio.

16 survivors were taken to hospitals, said San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood. Television pictures showed a large-scale operation by the police and rescue workers. Migrants are repeatedly smuggled from Mexico to the United States in trucks.

The survivors were conscious when they were taken to hospitals, Fire Chief Hood said. “The patients we saw were hot, they suffered from heat stroke.” According to the national weather service, the maximum temperature in San Antonio on Monday was around 38 degrees.

Hood said there was no water in the trailer. It was indeed a refrigerated truck; however, no cooling system was running.

Authorities announced three arrests. The truck was found near Interstate 35, which leads to the border with Mexico. Migrants hidden in trucks are repeatedly smuggled into the United States from Mexico. It is about 250 kilometers from San Antonio to the border with the neighboring country. In 2017, ten dead migrants were also discovered in a trailer in the city, and dozens of people had to be hospitalized.

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard spoke on Monday of a “tragedy” with regard to the 46 dead. He announced that the Mexican consul would go to the scene of the accident, although the nationality of the victims was not yet known.

The conservative governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, spoke in the short message service Twitter, citing a media report of 42 deaths and blamed President Joe Biden’s migration policy for it. “These deaths are Biden’s fault.” They are “the result of his deadly open borders policy,” Abbott said. Not enforcing the law has “deadly consequences”.

The opposition Republicans accuse Biden of taking too lax a course in migration policy and in securing the southern border. They also want to use this issue in their campaign for the midterm congressional elections in November.