SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Nearly four dozen people were found dead inside a tractor trailer on San Antonio’s southwest side late Monday afternoon in a suspected human smuggling case.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said a worker at a nearby business noticed someone dead near the trailer of the truck on Quintana Road at around 6 p.m.  He went over to investigate and looked through the partially opened trailer doors to see more dead inside.

San Antonio police and fire crews got to the scene and processed 46 dead bodies and sent 16 people to the hospital.  It is believed there may have been more people in the trailer who escaped on foot.

Hood described most of the people onboard the truck to be teenagers and young adults.

All of the deaths were of adults.  Of the 16 hospitalized, 12 were adults and four were minors.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said three people are currently in custody, but it is not clear what their roles are in the situation.  Homeland Security is taking over the investigation.  It is not disclosed what the victims’ nationalities were.

Hood said all of the victims suffered from some form of heat-related illness.  The trailer was a refrigerated trailer, but it did not appear that the system was being used nor was there any water inside.  It is not clear how long people may have been inside the trailer.

San Antonio has spent the past several weeks with daytime high temperatures regularly above 100 degrees with Monday being the first day in a while of significant heat relief.

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