San Antonio, TX - Eight people were found dead in a tractor trailer Sunday morning and dozens more are seriously injured with possible brain damage from the severe heat.
Video surveillance showed the vehicle pulling into the Walmart parking lot off of I-35 on Saturday night. Vehicles then pulled up, picked up some people from the trailer, and drove away.
Sunday night, one of those people somehow got out of the trailer and asked a Walmart employee for water. The employee returned with water and called the police. When police arrived, they found the eight bodies and other seriously injured people inside of the trailer.
Many of the survivors ran away and scattered, evading police. A helicopter searched through the morning attempting to locate more victims.
The driver of the truck was still on scene and was taken into custody.
A total of 30 survivors were hospitalized, with 17 of the listed in critical condition. At least two victims were school-age children.
Richard L. Durbin Jr., the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, called the incident "an alien smuggling venture gone horribly wrong."
Washington Post reports that the truck's owner, Brian Pyle, says that he didn't know what the driver was transporting.
“This was his very first trip,” Pyle said. “It’s a common thing in the trucking industry … He had my name on the side, and I pay for his insurance. He makes his own decisions, buys his own fuel.”
Pyle declined to identify the driver and said only that he was from Louisville.
San Antonio Police Department will be working with Homeland Security Investigations to attempt to identify the other suspects involved in the smuggling operation.