SAN ANTONIO – Six of the 53 people who died after being left in an abandoned tractor-trailer on the Southwest Side have been “conclusively” identified by the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The incident, which could be the deadliest migrant smuggling incident on U.S. soil, happened Monday. Forty-eight people died at the scene and five others died at area hospitals.
According to the Bexar County Public Information Office, the process of identifying the victims is “more time consuming,” given that the victims are from foreign countries.
“The established working relationships with the consulates of the potentially affected countries have proven to be effective, and information is exchanged on an ongoing basis,” the office said in a statement.
As of Thursday night, the sixth victim was identified. However, all of the victims’ identities are being withheld until officials are certain that their families have been notified.
The BCPIO also said they believe 42 other victims have “potential identifications” so far, meaning that the medical examiner needs further confirmation from “respective consulates.”
Five other victims are still unidentified at this time. As of Friday, the death toll remains at 53, while other victims are still recovering.
All of the victims are believed to have suffered from heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as the tractor-trailer had no air conditioning and no water while traveling in triple-digit temperatures.
According to the Chief of Mexico’s National Immigration Institute, Francisco Garduño said the truck was carrying 67 migrants who traveled from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.