At least eight migrants were found dead in the Rio Grande (or Rio Grande) after dozens of them tried to cross from Mexico into Texas near Eagle Pass, authorities said Friday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Mexican officials made the discovery Thursday while responding to reports of a large group of people crossing the river. Heavy rains in recent days had caused particularly fast currents. US officials recovered six bodies, while Mexican teams recovered another two, according to a CBP statement.
The agency said US teams rescued another 37 people from the river and detained 16 more, while Mexican authorities took 39 migrants into custody. Officials on both sides of the border continue to search for any possible victims, CBP said.
CBP did not say which country or countries the migrants were from and did not provide any additional information about the rescue or search. Local Texas agencies that were involved did not immediately respond to requests for additional information.
The Border Patrol’s Del Rio Sector, which includes Eagle Pass, is fast becoming the busiest corridor for illegal crossings. The sector could soon overtake Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, which has been in the spotlight for the past decade. The area attracts immigrants from dozens of countries, many of them in families with young children.
The sector, which stretches 245 miles (395 kilometers) along the Rio Grande, has been especially dangerous because the river’s currents can be deceptively fast and change suddenly. Crossing the river can be challenging even for good swimmers.
In a press release last month, CBP said it had discovered the bodies of more than 200 migrants killed in the sector from October through July.
Studies by the International Organization for Migration and others point to a rise in fatalities as the number of attempted crossings has skyrocketed. Over the past three decades, thousands of people have died trying to enter the United States at the southern border, often from dehydration or drowning.
In June, 53 migrants were found dead or dying in a tractor-trailer on a secondary highway in San Antonio.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.