At Least 54 Dead in Horrific Crash of Truck Carrying Migrants in Mexico

Migrant Crash
Bodies were piled on the side of a highway in southern Mexico.Getty

The overburdened truck struck a pedestrian bridge, then toppled across a highway, sending scores of migrants to their deaths.

A horrific scene of death and injury awaited rescue workers who raced to a highway where a truck packed with as many as 200 migrants toppled onto a highway and crashed into the base of a steel pedestrian bridge in southern Mexico.

Those jammed inside the cargo trailer were sent flying and crushed on the roadway, pinning the living among the dead in a pile of bodies.

It was the worst single-day death toll for migrants since the 2010 slaughter of 72 refugees by the Zetas drug cartel in the northern state of Tamaulipas.

Motorists and bystanders helped carry the dead by their arms and legs as survivors pulled themselves from the twisted wreckage. While ambulances arrived, private trucks and cars were enlisted to ferry the injured to nearby hospitals.

Some 200 migrants may have been crammed into the truck, according to Guatemala's top human rights official, Jordán Rodas, The Associated Press reported. The overwhelming weight of the load, as well as its speed on a curve, was probably enough to throw the vehicle off balance, authorities said.

Luis Manuel Moreno, head of the Chiapas state civil defense office, said about 21 people were seriously wounded and taken to local hospitals. The federal Attorney General's Office said three were critically injured in the crash, which occurred on a highway leading from the Guatemalan border toward the Chiapas state capital.

Some of the migrants said they had boarded the truck in Mexico, near the border with Guatemala, and paid between $2,500 and $3,500 to be transported to Mexico's central state of Puebla. There, they may have contracted with another set of migrant smugglers to take them to the U.S. border, The AP reported.

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