More than 170 migrants were rescued Saturday from the back of a tractor-trailer in the Mexican state of Veracruz, according to Mexican authorities.
The truck, carrying 178 mostly adult migrants, was transporting them to the United States from Central America, a Mexican military source told AFP. The truck was abandoned by the driver after a crash in the town of Tantima, some 400 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, according to CNN.
Officials said some of those in the truck were able to escape and go to nearby residents for help.
The health conditions of those rescued is not immediately clear, but Mexico’s National Institute for Migration said that some of the migrants were injured and showed signs of asphyxia, according to UPI.
AFP reports that those rescued were taken to a migration center, where they received medical care and where authorities began to coordinate getting the migrants back to their home countries.
This incident comes almost a week after 10 people died and more than 30 others were injured in another smuggling case in San Antonio. In that case, an estimated 200 people were packed into a tractor-trailer at points throughout the trip, spending hours in scorching conditions without access to food or water, according to the New York Times. On Monday, the driver, James Matthew Bradley Jr. was charged with “transporting illegal aliens.” He could face life in prison or the death penalty if he is convicted.
Following the deaths in San Antonio, then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly released this statement:
“This tragedy demonstrates the brutality of the network of which I often speak. These smugglers have no regard for human life and seek only profits. The Department of Homeland Security and its partners in the U.S., Mexico and Central America will continue to root out these smugglers, bring them to justice and dismantle their networks.”