"Stacks of bodies" have been found in a lorry in Texas as 46 migrants have been confirmed to have died.
A fire chief has spoken of discovering "stacks of bodies" in the lorry that claimed large number of lives, who died from the extreme heat on the the US-Mexico border.
The victims, who included "teenagers and young adults", appeared to be victims of one of the most deadly recent incidents of human smuggling.
READ MORE: 10 dead and 13 injured after van transporting migrants flips in horror crash in Texas
San Antonio Fire Department chief Charles Hood said that another 16 other people were taken to hospital for heat stroke and exhaustion, including four minors.
Officials also said three people were in custody following the incident in Texas, which was reported on Tuesday morning UK time (June 28).
Mr Hood added that the people inside the trailer died of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, with no air conditioning or water available for them.
The patients were reportedly suffering heat exhaustion and Mr Hood described survivors being "hot to the touch".
He said: “We’re not supposed to open up a truck and see stacks of bodies in there. None of us come to work imagining that."
The fire chief tweeted: "The trailer had a US number plates supposedly so it can travel without revision. It is very probably owned by dealers."
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A large number of ambulances, fire engines and other police vehicles were at the scene on Quintana Road, with police searching nearby woods for other people.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, said the investigation was now in the hands of the US federal authorities: "It’s tragic. They had families and were likely trying to find a better life. It’s nothing short of a horrific, human tragedy.”
The number of dead may yet rise with a law enforcement source telling the San Antonio Express-News that “it’s probably close to 100 (people) in the truck” and adding “about half of that” may be dead.
The bodies were discovered inside an 18-wheel vehicle close to rail tracks in San Antonio, around 150 miles from the Mexican border, where temperatures reached 40C on Monday (June 27).
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