Texas archdiocese calls for unity after what authorities call largest mass casualty event they've ever seen

Catholic faith leaders were seen praying at the scene of the tragedy

The San Antonio, Texas, Archdiocese called for unity after 46 migrants were found dead in a trailer, in what authorities are calling San Antonio’s largest mass casualty event. 

"We pray for the souls of the 46 people who died in such a cruel, inhuman manner this evening, and also keep in prayer the 16 survivors – 14 adults and four children – as well as their families and all of the first responders who assisted and saved lives and must now carry with them the memories of this scene of carnage," San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller said in a statement. 

"I urge all in the archdiocese to unite in solidarity, as these brothers and sisters are members of our family," he added. 

Authorities said Monday that 46 migrants were found dead inside and around an 18-wheeler’s trailer. The death toll later rose to at least 50, after more people found in the trailer were declared dead at a local hospital. More than a dozen others were hospitalized.

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Authorities are calling the tragedy San Antonio’s largest mass casualty incident, KSAT reported. 

The archbishop was joined by Franciscan priests in the call for unity after the discovery, and faith leaders were seen praying at the scene. 

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Gustavo Garcia-Siller, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, takes part in a mass at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church a day after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 25, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Gustavo Garcia-Siller, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, takes part in a mass at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church a day after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 25, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello (REUTERS/Marco Bello)

"First and foremost prayer, community support, we need our community in SA after what happened in Uvalde and now this. It’s heart-wrenching and we need each other, we need the support. From all the community, to help bear this situation," Father Hugo Maese, of St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church said, KSAT reported. 

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The tragedy sparked outrage from Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who laid blame for the deaths on President Biden’s immigration policies

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"At Least 42 People Found Dead Inside Truck Carrying Migrants In Texas. These deaths are on Biden. They are a result of his deadly open border policies," Abbott tweeted Monday evening. "They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law."