A truck which had been disguises with fake logos to look like an official Mexican Food Ministry vehicle, bound for the US, has crashed injured dozens of the 170 migrants hidden inside.
At least 38 immigrants, including eight children, were injured when the truck hit a concrete highway median divider in Veracruz, southern Mexico on Tuesday.
The rest of the 132 migrants, and the driver, fled the scene before authorities could arrive.
The truck had been traveling on highway 150 D Veracruz-Puebla and bound for Mexico City on its way north to the US when it crashed, Veracruz state public security ministry confirmed.
Good Samaritans help 170 migrants out of a truck in Veracruz, Mexico, after the vehicle they were being smuggled in crash on a highway Tuesday. At least 38 migrants remained inside the cargo box and on the side of the road until authorities and paramedics arrived to provide medical attention
Migrants remain on the side of a road in southern Mexico on Tuesday moments after the cargo truck they were being smuggled in crashed. At least 132 migrants fled the scene while 38 remained at the accident site and were provided medical attention before the National Institute of Migration took them in for processing
Footage recorded by bystanders showed Good Samaritans coming to the aid of the migrants, who were crammed inside the cargo box, before Veracruz state police officers and the National Guard arrived.
The driver, who fled from the scene, remained at large as of Wednesday.
Authorities impounded the truck which featured labels from the Mexican Food Ministry on its cargo box. However, the agency confirmed in a statement that the vehicle was not part of its fleet.
The National Institute of Migration identified the 38 migrants as natives of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. All of the individuals were placed in custody of the immigration agency for processing.
‘The migrants are being attended to as well as checking how they were transported and who was transporting them,’ Secretary of the Interior Adán López said, as quoted by Mexican digital news outlet López Doriga. ‘Our priority is the protection of migrants, guaranteeing free transit.’
The truck and cargo box used to smuggle the migrants featured labels from the Mexican Food Ministry. The department released a statement and said that the trailer and truck were not part of its fleet
The National Institute of Migration identified the 38 migrants as natives of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala
The accident comes nearly a month after a tractor trailer smuggling United States-bound migrants crashed into a barrier connected to a pedestrian bridge in the state of Chiapas and left 56 dead and 104 injured.
According to the Mexican government data, more than 252,000 undocumented migrants were intercepted in Mexico between January 2021 and November 2021. At least 100,000 were deported during the same period.
Data released by the Mexican Commission for Aid to Refugees showed that it received 31,488 refugee petitions in all of 2021.