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Federal charges expected for suspect as death toll rises to ten after bodies discovered inside semi-trailer outside San Antonio Walmart

July 23, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Federal charges expected for suspect as death toll rises to ten after bodies discovered inside semi-trailer outside San Antonio Walmart A man who survived the trafficking incident said there was no air inback of the sweltering trailer

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At least ten people died after being crammed into a sweltering tractor-trailer found parked outside a Walmart in the Midsummer Texas heat, authorities said Sunday in what they described as an immigrant-smuggling attempt gone wrong.

The driver was arrested, and nearly 20 others rescued from the rig were hospitalized in dire condition, many with extreme dehydration and heatstroke, officials said.

“We’re looking at a human-trafficking crime,” said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus. He called it “a horrific tragedy.”

Homeland Security officials have taken over the investigation from the San Antonio Police Department.

Law enforcement officials said firefighters made the discovery around 12:30 am, in the parking lot of the Walmart located at Highway 16 and I-35, on the southwest side of the city.

Early reports indicate a Walmart employee had notified police of possible immigrants trapped inside a trailer and in need of urgent medical attention.

Department of Homeland Security officials said first responders arrived on the scene and discovered over two dozen people inside the semi-trailer, 20 of whom suffered from severe dehydration and other serious medical conditions.

U.S. Attorney Richard Durbin Jr. released a statement Sunday saying the driver of the rig, identified as 60-year-old James Mathew Bradley Jr. of Clearwater, Florida, is in federal custody in San Antonio.

Durbin says Bradley is expected to make a court appearance after a criminal complaint is filed Monday.

Durbin’s office wouldn’t say whether Bradley was the alleged driver of the truck. Authorities said earlier Sunday that the driver was in custody.

Durbin’s office says Bradley will have a charge or charges filed against him in the criminal complaint.

San Antonio police Chief William McManus told reporters outside the Walmart that at least 38 people had stayed trapped inside the trailer.

One of the people inside managed to break out of the trailer and approached a Walmart employee begging for water, KENS reported

McManus said federal investigators on the scene suspect possible human trafficking involved in the mass-casualty incident.

The Police Chief confirmed at least two school-aged children were among the ten dead.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said the trailer’s air conditioning was not working and officers saw no sign of water.

The south Texas city saw temperatures soar to over 100 degrees on Saturday.

Hood described the victims as “very hot to the touch.”

First responders transported 20 people who remained in critical condition to local area hospitals.

Officials said paramedics treated another eight people on the scene for less severe injuries.

McManus said investigators are working to determine how long the trailer had been parked outside the Walmart.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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