Migrants Found in Train Car, One Dead

Railcars stopped on a track | Image by Evgeny Haritonov/Shutterstock

Law enforcement officers in Eagle Pass reportedly found 12 unlawful migrants in a train car on Saturday, over 24 hours after the group was stranded.

The group, which included individuals from Ecuador, Mexico, Honduras, and Colombia, was located after one of the migrants inside the car called 911 around 4 p.m. on March 25.

The Eagle Pass Fire Department, Border Patrol, and Maverick County Sheriff’s Office visited the Union Pacific train yard in response to the call, per KSAT.

After searching the area, law enforcement discovered the rail car with the captive migrants. One of the people found inside had already died, and three others required EMS assistance before being taken in stable condition to Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center. Border Patrol detained the other eight individuals after being found, per KSAT.

Homeland Security Investigations is currently looking into the occurrence as a possible case of human smuggling and has asked the public to report any suspicious activity. Union Pacific, which provided no additional information, expressed its sadness over the recent incidents.

Union Pacific has promised to cooperate fully with law enforcement and immigration authorities in investigating the incident.

“Our hearts are heavy with the news of another tragic loss of life in a Union Pacific train car,” said a Union Pacific spokesperson in an email sent to CNN. “We are cooperating fully with law enforcement and immigration officials to review Saturday’s incident, which occurred near Eagle Pass, Texas, as well as Friday’s incident near Knippa, Texas.”

The other event mentioned occurred one day earlier, on March 24. Seventeen people were discovered in a railroad car east of Knippa, Texas. Fifteen men and two women were located inside a railway car after an investigation by Homeland Security. Two of the men were found dead at the site.

“Union Pacific is deeply saddened by this incident and Friday’s incident near Knippa. Our commitment to safety and to guarding human life is central to who we are as a company and as people,” said Union Pacific in a statement, per KSAT. “These incidents stand as a grim reminder of why we make every effort to stop people from trespassing on our property and on our trains.”

These incidents come amid continued high levels of unlawful border crossings from Mexico into Texas. Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe recently described the crisis to the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security. He said that his deputies apprehended 741 human smugglers in 2022 and filed more than 3,000 felony cases against smugglers, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Texas lawmakers also spoke about the surge in unlawful migrants after roughly 1,000 attempted to enter El Paso from the Paso Del Norte Bridge earlier in March, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. Border patrol reportedly stopped the surge and kept most from entering the U.S.

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