Authorities in Texas are looking for more than 100 illegal immigrants who fled from a refrigerated truck in San Antonio after calling authorities for help -- amid fears they could be in danger due to the subzero temperatures hitting the area
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said in a press conference on Thursday that authorities received a call from a truckload of migrants being smuggled in. He said they needed help and were pleading for air.
When they apprehended the truck, authorities detained about 50 people but there were more than 200 crammed into the truck initially, KSAT, the ABC affiliated TV station in San Antonio. Many of those that fled weren’t wearing jackets and Salazar said they were concerned about the freezing temperatures that have hit the Lone Star State.
"Our concern is that people are going to be very much exposed to...the elements and quite frankly we’re worried that the people may be in distress very soon, so we’re hoping we can get these folks some medical attention and some help they need," he said.
Salazar said the smugglers sealed up the air holes in the truck, and said he was keen not only to assist those who needed help, but also to apprehend the smugglers behind the operation.
"They don’t care, they don’t care what happens to these people, these people are a commodity to them and if they lose a couple in the process, to them that’s just the cost of doing business," he said.
Salazar said he believed from the information they have, that the migrants came through Mexico but originated in Guatemala and El Salvador.
He said he didn't believe the migrants were a direct threat to the community but "I think they’re in danger of freezing to death out here if they’re out here for very much longer."