Nine immigrants smuggled in a tractor-trailer have died. They were among nearly 40 people found in the back of the truck parked outside a Walmart in Texas in what police are calling a horrific human trafficking case. Many of the several dozen survivors are in dire condition, suffering from heatstroke and dehydration after being trapped in the sweltering truck overnight.
The tragedy has shined a fresh spotlight on the often deadly conditions that desperate migrants endure at the hands of smugglers and human traffickers. Others have died under similar circumstances before:
— 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.
— 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 South Texas to Houston.
— June 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.