17 migrants found trapped in train car near Uvalde: 2 dead, others hospitalized

Medical helicopters transported some people to San Antonio hospital

UVALDE COUNTY, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents found 17 migrants in a train car east of Knippa, Texas on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday morning, the total number of migrants was updated by law enforcement officials from 15 to 17.

According to Homeland Security Investigations, there were 15 men and two women inside the train. Two men were pronounced dead at the scene, and four other individuals were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

At about 3:50 p.m. Friday, emergency dispatch received a 911 call from a non-working number about several people trapped and “suffocating” inside a train car.

Rodriguez said it’s unclear who made the report, but it could have come from the train car.

Border Patrol officials were notified and inspected the train two to three miles from Knippa at a regular stop, Rodriguez said.

They found two people had died and many others unresponsive, according to the Uvalde PD chief.

Migrants found in train in Uvalde County (KSAT)

Medical helicopters flew at least five patients to San Antonio hospitals. Several ambulances also arrived at the scene to help transport five others to nearby hospitals, Uvalde police said.

  • University Health in San Antonio confirmed with KSAT it received two male patients by air from the scene. Both are in good condition, as of Sunday.
  • Christus Santa Rosa Hospital at Westover Hills confirmed it is caring for one patient from the incident.
  • Methodist Hospital confirmed it has two patients, both males who are stable.

Three migrants were taken into Border Patrol custody. Rodriguez told KSAT “they were okay.”

‘It’s heartbreaking’

It’s unclear what exact conditions those rescued were in, but Rodriguez said many were more than likely dehydrated due to the heat of the train cars and the current high temperatures.

According to the closest official reporting station, the temperature in the area was 87°F at 3:55 p.m.

“It’s sad to see that so many undocumented immigrants were found in this condition, and two of them lost their lives. It’s heartbreaking,” Rodriguez said.

U.S. Highway 90 East at FM 2730 was reopened just before 7 p.m. after being closed for several hours, according to Uvalde police. Drivers were asked to use Highway 127 and Ranch Road 187 in Sabinal and FM 1049 in Knippa to avoid the scene.

Knippa is a small town on U.S. 90 about 75 miles west of downtown San Antonio and 10 miles northeast of Uvalde. It is more than 70 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Union Pacific will lead the investigation, UPD said.

KSAT will update this story as more information becomes available.

U.S. Highway 90 East at FM 2730 (KSAT)

About the Authors

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

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