The accident of a trailer with more than 150 migrants overcrowded leaves at least 55 dead
The number of immigrants killed when a truck overturned on a highway in the state of Chiapas, southeastern Mexico, rose to 55, Mexican government authorities reported this Friday (12.10.2021).
According to the report of the State Prosecutor’s Office, the trailer collided with the wall of a pedestrian bridge, after impact the box was left without the roof and then overturned to one side and as a result of the collision, dozens of migrants died instantly.
The national coordinator of Civil Protection, Laura Velázquez Alzúa, who went to the scene of the events, pointed out that so far 152 migrants have been counted, of them 55 deceased, 73 injured and 24 unharmed migrants.
The official revealed that many minors were also injured, although she did not specify the number and said that for now it is trying to identify data and nationality of the deceased and injured.
“From the testimonies of the survivors, they say, most of them are from Guatemala,” said Luis Manuel García, state director of Civil Protection.
The accident happened around 3:30 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m. GMT) when a trailer carrying more than a hundred Central American migrants, in overcrowded conditions in its dry box, overturned on a curve, due to speeding, on the highway. Chiapa de Corzo-Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
Most of the injured were transferred to public and private hospitals, while the National Migration Institute (INM) is taking care of the legal situation of the victims, García added.
“Serious accident in Chiapas with victims of nationals of other countries. (…) In communication with the State Government and Civil Protection. We make contact with the foreign ministries of the affected countries,” Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard tweeted.
Local television images showed a huge deployment of ambulances, firefighters and rescuers around the crashed vehicle, while some still confused and shocked migrants remained at the scene awaiting medical attention.
According to the first investigations, the driver of the truck would have lost control due to speeding, local authorities detailed.
The incident occurred on a stretch of highway that connects the city of Chiapa de Corzo with the capital Tuxtla Gutiérrez, confirmed the state governor Rutilio Escandón.
Guatemala regrets accident
Meanwhile, the Government of Guatemala regretted the accident in southern Mexico and said that it maintains “communication” with the authorities of the neighboring country in case consular “support” is necessary.
“I deeply regret the accident that occurred in the State of Chiapas, with a balance of even fatal victims of migrants,” said the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Pedro Brolo, through the communication channels of the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry.
“Our consulate general in Tuxtla, Gutiérrez, follows up with the local authorities to have official information and provide consular assistance,” added Brolo.
The Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Relations explained to journalists that the collection of information “is under development”, without being able to advance with “certainty” the nationality of the migrants.
The transfer of migrants in trucks is one of the most common methods with which human traffickers intern them into Mexican territory, with the aim of reaching the northern border of the country and trying to cross into the United States.