A truck carrying dozens of people believed to be migrants coming from Central America crashed in Mexico on Dec. 9, 2021, the New York Times reports. At least 54 people are dead and over 100 have been injured.
The truck overturned near Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital of Mexico’s Chiapas State, on Thursday afternoon. Luis Manuel García Moreno told Milenio TV that, based on what witnesses said, the truck was traveling at excessive speed. It rounded a sharp curve, hit a retaining wall, and flipped. The trailer itself, filled with hundreds of migrants, hit a pedestrian bridge and a nearby construction area.
Chiapas State governor confirmed on Twitter that 105 people have been injured — 83 of them men, 22 women. It is likely that the death toll will rise depending on the severity of the injuries. It is unclear where the migrants were heading as their final destination. The victims include men, women, and children.
Photos from the scene circulating on social media show the aftermath of the accident: the truck turned on its side with rows upon rows of bodies laid out on the ground nearby, covered in white sheets.
Border crossings can be wildly dangerous endeavors for those whose entrance isn’t sanctioned by the government. Since 2014, 3,575 people have been killed trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, with 650 people alone being killed this year.
That’s largely due to the sheer number of migrants that can be killed or injured in one crash. In March of this year, for example, 13 people were killed in a car crash on the U.S. border after a Ford Expedition collided with a semi. In January, the bodies of 19 people were found in a charred pickup truck near the U.S. border, and 12 police officers were arrested for connections with the crime. In November, Mexican authorities found 600 migrants hidden in two different trailers traveling through Veracruz. Many of the people came from Guatemala, though others came from Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Bangladesh. And in July of this year alone, the United States arrested 212,672 people for attempting to cross the border.
The incident in Chiapas State, though, is mind-boggling due to the sheer number of deaths and injuries.