55 Dead After Truck Smuggling People Crashes in Mexico: Officials

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
December 10, 2021 Updated: December 10, 2021

A truck that was smuggling mostly Central American people flipped over in southern Mexico, killing dozens, officials said on Friday.

Rutilio Escandon, the governor of the state of Chiapas where the crash occurred, confirmed Friday that the death toll rose to 55. Previously, he confirmed that about 105 people were injured, and Mexico’s attorney general said Thursday that three victims were “seriously injured.”

Escandon and other officials said that more than 100 people were inside the trailer when it flipped on Thursday evening.

Men, women, and children were among the dead and injured, the Chiapas state government confirmed to Reuters.

“It took a bend, and because of the weight of us people inside, we all went with it,” one man who witnessed the incident was quoted by Reuters as saying. A local newspaper reported that the truck hit a retaining wall before smashing into a pedestrian bridge.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took to Twitter to mourn the “very painful” incident.

“I deeply regret the tragedy caused by the overturning of a trailer in Chiapas carrying Central American migrants,” he wrote, according to a translation. “It is very painful. I hug the families of the victims.”

truck accident dozens dead
A police officer raises his arm to block photographers to to avoid taking pictures at the site of a trailer accident that left at least 49 people dead, most of them migrants from Central America, in Tuxtla Gutierrez, in Chiapas state, Mexico, on Dec. 9, 2021. (Jacob Garcia/Reuters)

“This shows us that irregular migration is not the best way,” Kevin Lopez, a spokesman for Guatemala’s presidency, told Milenio television after the accident.

El Salvador’s foreign minister, Alexandra Hill, said her government was working to see if Salvadorans had died.

Since taking office in January, President Joe Biden has drawn significant criticism over his immigration policies and after he rescinded a number of Trump-era orders designed to curb illegal immigration. Early in his presidency, Biden signed an order to stop the construction of President Donald Trump’s border wall, and he also attempted to end the “remain in Mexico” policy, though Biden was forced to restart it several weeks ago following a court order.

Officials in Mexico routinely come across migrants packed into trailers. Last month, 600 people were found hidden in the back of two trucks in eastern Mexico.

The journey north from Mexico’s border with Guatemala is perilous and expensive, and many migrants fall prey to criminal gangs en route. In January, 19 people, mostly migrants, were massacred with suspected police involvement in northern Mexico.

In March 2021, 13 people in a packed SUV died in California in a crash near the U.S.-Mexico border. In August, 10 people were killed in a van crash in southern Texas.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.