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2 bodies of migrants found inside Texas train car in suspected smuggling operation

At least two migrants have died inside a train car near Nippah, Texas, in an incident that is being investigated as a suspected human trafficking operation, local authorities and a senior US official said Friday.

According to the neighboring Uvalde Police Department, more than a dozen people were found inside the train car Friday afternoon after someone called 911 to say the migrants were “suffocating” there. Local and Texas law enforcement authorities as well as US Border Patrol agents responded to the scene.

The Uvalde Police Department said in a statement that five migrants were taken to San Antonio-area hospitals and five others were taken to local hospitals. Their conditions were “unknown” as of Friday evening, Uvalde police added.

The train was traveling from Eagle Pass to San Antonio, Union Pacific told CBS News in a statement. Union Pacific said the Border Patrol was alerted around 4 p.m. local time that 15 people were found in two different rail cars.

A senior US official said all indications were that the victims were immigrants smuggled into the country. Migrants are often taken inside train cars, tractor trailers and other vehicles by human traffickers after crossing the US-Mexico border without authorization.

Migrant smuggling is often dangerous and in some cases deadly. In June 2022, 53 migrants, including unaccompanied minors, lost their lives Inside an abandoned tractor-trailer outside San Antonio – the deadliest immigrant smuggling case in US history.

In a statement Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he was “heartbroken to learn of yet another tragic incident of a dangerous migrant journey.” He said federal Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents are investigating the case.

“We will work with the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office to catch those responsible,” Mayorkas added. “Traffickers are shameless and only care about profit.”

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