Texas tragedy is apparently latest in global series of migrant suffocation deaths

Police at scene of tractor-trailer deaths
Police work at the scene where a tractor-trailer full of dead bodies was discovered Monday in San Antonio.
(Eric Gay / Associated Press)

Authorities in Texas say that 46 people believed to be migrants were found dead in a tractor-trailer and 16 others were taken to hospitals Monday in a remote part of San Antonio.

The deaths were apparently the latest in what has become a global series of mass deaths from suffocation or heat during human-trafficking attempts. Here’s a look at some of those incidents:

— June 27, 2022: 46 people believed to be migrants were found dead in a sweltering trailer on a remote back road in southwestern San Antonio.


— Oct. 23, 2019: 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in a truck trailer in Essex, England. Four men were jailed for manslaughter.

— July 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.

Sixteen survivors were taken to hospitals, and three people were in federal custody Monday night, San Antonio police said.

June 28, 2022

— 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.

— April 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.


— April 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 they traveled from southern Texas to Houston.

— June 18, 2000: 58 Chinese migrants were found dead inside a truck in the English port town of Dover. The Dutch truck had transported the migrants across the English Channel from Belgium. Two people survived.