The accident took place in the state of Chiapas, the gateway for migrants from Central America (mainly Honduras and El Salvador) in the hope of reaching the United States.
” Do not fall asleep! Don’t close your eyes! “
Alerted by the crash of the accident, the inhabitants of El Refugio, a village near the highway, came in large numbers. Among them, Sabina Lopez, 18, hears the man’s pleas to her seriously injured companion.
Remember what you promised your mother! Hold on!
All around, she discovers a spectacle of desolation. Dozens of people scream in pain. Lots of people are stuck in the wreckage of the truck, some unconscious. Others, safe and sound, huddle together, dismayed and incredulous.
It was horrible to hear the complaints, Sabina tells AFP,
I just thought to help.
The truck, which was likely traveling at high speed, crashed into the wall of a pedestrian bridge, residents said. He rolled over so violently that the trailer snapped in half and the roof came off.
The inhabitants improvised as rescuers, trying to reach the migrants in the trailer as best they could. They lined the asphalt with the bodies of those who died, covering them with white sheets.
To the survivors, they offer water and offer their cell phones to call home, notes AFP.
Those from immigration arrived and told us to help retrieve the bags to find identification documents, explains Sabina.
We put them aside, stacked them, and they took them away.
There were a lot of people on the ground, some were already dead. With other guys, we did what we could to help the rescuers save those who were still showing signs of life, tells Isaias Diaz, who arrived there a few minutes after the tragedy.
I saw five or six injured children. People with injuries to their legs, ribs, head, neck, everywhere, he continues, very distressed.
Other residents claim that the driver of the truck and a person accompanying him, bloodied, fled stumbling after the accident.
A police patrol eventually makes its appearance. The agents just say they are waiting for the arrival
as soon as possible ambulances.
The lamentations, the pain, the despair, adds Isaias Diaz.
It was terrible, really.
Transporting migrants by truck is one of the most common methods used by smugglers to reach the country’s northern border and attempt to enter the United States. Other migrants prefer to cross the country by
caravan on foot, and take the opportunity to claim their rights.
The accident took place the same day the first two migrants were returned from the United States to Mexico under a program put in place during the time of ex-President Donald Trump, suspended by Joe Biden, but reactivated by decision of the American Supreme Court.
More than 190,000 migrants were counted by the Mexican authorities between January and September, three times more than in 2020. Some 74,300 people were expelled.
The United States recorded the illegal entry of 1.7 million people from Mexico into its territory between October 2020 and last September, a record.