Migrants in Mexico: Mass escape from abandoned truck after recent deaths

By Elsa Maishman

BBC News

A group of migrants board a bus.Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Migrants were taken to safety afterwards

A group of migrants has escaped from a truck abandoned in Mexico, a month after more than 50 people died in similar circumstances in the US.

The lorry was heading for the US border but was abandoned by the driver ahead of a checkpoint, paramedics said.

People forced a way out of the top of the lorry to escape the stifling heat.

Authorities found at least 94 people, mostly Guatemalans, in and around the lorry on Wednesday night. It is thought others may have run away.

Many of those found were treated for ankle and knee fractures after jumping from the top of the vehicle.

Paramedics say one man who was unconscious was taken to hospital.

Authorities were called at around 21:20 (02:20 GMT Thursday).

Employees of a petrol station close to where the lorry was abandoned helped the migrants to escape, José Domínguez, director of civil protection in nearby Oluta, told Reuters news agency.

Mexico’s national guard and navy patrolled the area looking for people hiding in the surrounding bushes.

Civil protection paramedic Cristóbal Cisneros Valencia said the migrants had “started to feel suffocated”, and had battered the roof of the trailer until they broke through and could jump out.

Another paramedic, Kenia Díaz, said some of the people had run away because they feared for their well-being.

Guatemala’s foreign ministry said 89 of those found were Guatemalan, including 55 adults, with the rest children and families. According to Mr Domínguez, there were also five people from Honduras and four from Ecuador, as well as two Indians, one Salvadoran and one Nepali.

It comes after 53 people died in an abandoned lorry in San Antonio, Texas, in June, in the deadliest human trafficking incident in US history.

The victims were believed to have died of heat exhaustion and dehydration, as the truck had no working air conditioning and they had no access to water.

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