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"[He] came back with water, called the police and we arrived on scene and found eight people dead in the back of that trailer", McManus said.

"Imagine their suffering, trapped in a stifling trailer in 100-plus degree heat", he said.

Temperatures in the city soared into triple digits Saturday, and didn't drop into the nineties until long after dark. He said 17 of those are in critical condition, and 13 are in serious condition. Heat stroke can be fatal at when the body reaches 107 degrees. A total of 8 individuals were deceased upon our arrival. The least-severe cases, he said, just needed to be re-hydrated. Measures to harden global borders encourage would-be migrants to turn to smugglers and fear of deportation deters whistle-blowing, they said. These networks have repeatedly shown a reckless disregard for those they smuggle, as last night's case demonstrates.

Eight people, including two children, have been found dead after they were locked inside a boiling truck without air conditioning or water.

Some survivors also ran when they heard police sirens and helicopters.

"This is not an isolated incident". "You can see that it happens late at night under darkness because they don't want to be discovered".

The driver of the vehicle, whose identity has not yet been released, was taken into custody, McManus said. "And fortunately there are people that survived". The company did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment. First responders say there were so many victims, they had to be spread among seven different hospitals.

The police chief also said some survivors had been spotted fleeing into the nearby woods.

Once the victims undergo treatment, the case will be turned over to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the police chief said. A search overnight did not locate any additional victims, but police said they would conduct a second aerial search once daylight broke.

Sunday's smuggling-by-truck attempt is not uncommon, and only the most recent to end in death.

Back in May of 2003, 19 immigrants died as they were being transported from Southern Texas to Houston. The South Texas heat is punishing this time of year.

The driver of that trailer has been arrested. The driver was resentenced in 2011 to almost 34 years in prison after a federal appeals court overturned the multiple life sentences he had received.