Migrant deaths: A worldwide look at some of the deadliest incidents involving trucks or containers

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022
50 migrants die after 18-wheeler abandoned in Texas heat
Nearly all of the victims were found near the truck, while four later died at a hospital. Sixteen people had been taken to hospitals, including four kids.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- On June 27, 2022, 50 migrants died after being abandoned in an 18-wheeler in extreme heat in San Antonio. It is considered one of the deadliest migrant smuggling operations.

The video above is from a previous report.

This tragedy adds to a list of migrant truck-related deaths worldwide, initially reported by the Associated Press.

The following is a global look at some of the deadliest incidents involving trafficked migrants in trucks or shipping containers.

  • Jun. 27, 2022: 50 migrants died after being abandoned in a sweltering tractor-trailer on a remote back road in San Antonio.
  • Oct. 23, 2019: 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in a truck trailer in Essex, England. Four men were jailed for manslaughter.
  • Jul. 23, 2017: Eight immigrants were found dead in a sweltering trailer at a San Antonio Walmart parking lot. Two others died later in hospitals. The driver was sentenced to life in prison.
  • Feb. 20, 2017: 13 African migrants suffocated inside a shipping container while being transported between two towns in Libya. A total of 69 migrants, most from Mali, were packed into the container, according to the local Red Crescent branch.
  • Aug. 27, 2015: Austrian police discovered an abandoned truck containing the bodies of 71 migrants, including eight children, from Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. The truck, found along a highway, had crossed into Austria from Hungary.
  • Apr. 4, 2009: 35 Afghan migrants suffocated inside a shipping container in southwestern Pakistan. Authorities said that more than 100 people were packed inside the container.
  • Apr. 9, 2008: 54 Burmese migrants suffocated in the back of an airtight refrigerated truck in Ranong, Thailand.
  • May 14, 2003: 19 migrants died inside a sweltering tractor-trailer while traveling from South Texas to Houston.
  • Jun. 18, 2000: 58 Chinese immigrants were found dead inside a truck in the English port town of Dover. The Dutch truck had transported the immigrants across the English Channel from Belgium. Two people survived.
  • The Associated Press contributed to this report.