Image courtesy of Getty Images

At least 51 people have died after being found inside or near an abandoned tractor-trailer outside San Antonio, Texas. Officials say the group had no access to water or air conditioning inside the trailer and more than a dozen people, including four children, were being treated for heat-related illnesses. San Antonio is experiencing its warmest June on record, with temperatures reaching 101 degrees Monday.

Initial reports say the semitrailer likely entered the country at Laredo, Texas, in an effort to smuggle people into the US from Mexico. Among the group, 27 were confirmed from Mexico, three from Guatemala, and four from Honduras.

The incident marks one of the worst human smuggling tragedies in recent US history. US Border Patrol reported 557 deaths, the majority heat-related, near the southern border in the 2021 fiscal year. 

The deaths came as the US notched a record number of migrant encounters in May, reaching almost 240,000 (see data).