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Survivors tell of truck crash in Mexico that killed 55 people

Simply calculating the human cost of the horrific truck crash that killed 55 migrants and injured more than 100 is chilling, even for survivors of a disaster on a highway in southern Mexico.

About 40 of the survivors were listed on “many infectious diseases” lists at local hospitals late Friday, and they were among the least injured.

Nearly 20 other people suffered broken bones, usually in the arms and wrists, indicating they were trying to break the force of the impact when the semi-trailer carrying the migrants overturned and crashed into a bridge for migrants. Walker.

The worst are those with severe brain injury or organ damage, usually a crushed chest, abdomen or pelvis. The force of the collision pushed the migrants together, smashed them against the steel wall of the tractor trailer and threw some onto the roadway.

Enmanuel Ramón Hernández was one of the local residents who rushed to help after the accident. He said the crushing weight of the migrants themselves may have killed many.

“The majority (of the injuries) were from impact or internal injuries, but of the first 45 dead who were taken out,” said Hernández, adding, “they don’t have any evidence of being injured,” Hernández said. fracture or obvious fracture. They were suffocating among themselves. “

Survivors told from their hospital beds how their location inside the trailer determined who lived and who died.

Those unlucky enough to get caught in the flimsy walls of the cargo container were almost certainly dead, survivors said. Those in the middle of the throng survived, cushioned by their migrants as the container overturned on the road.

One young migrant said: “The people who died were the people who leaned against the walls of the trailer. Guatemala being treated for a broken arm. “Thank God we were in the middle. But those on the side, they’re dead. ”

The migrant, who did not want to be named because he did not have valid documentation in Mexico, described a gruesome scene of screams and blood in the moments after the truck plowed into the foot of a steel pedestrian bridge on Thursday. He estimated there were about 250 migrants on board.

The living have to get out of the pile of corpses and sprawling corpses.

“They poured on my head, there were two or three migrants on top of me,” said the young man.

Then the grim task of trying to pull the injured out.

“When I got out, another migrant was screaming,” said the survivor. “He yelled at me, I pulled him out and brought him to the curb, but he was dead.”

The young man said the truck driver, whose whereabouts are unknown, entered a sharp turn at high speed and lost control on the road leading to Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of the Mexican state of Chiapas.

While the Mexican government is trying to appease USA By stopping caravans carrying migrants on foot and allowing the reinstatement of the “Stay in Mexico” policy, it was not possible to get hundreds of migrants crammed with hundreds of trucks driven by traffickers. smugglers operate for thousands of dollars to get them to the US border. .

Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo on Friday called for tougher sentences against immigrant trafficking.

“We must strengthen the punishment for those who take advantage of our people,” Brolo said.

Survivors said most of those crammed in the trailer were from Guatemala and Honduras. Authorities said migrants from Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Mexico also boarded the ship.

People who spoke to survivors said they boarded trucks in Mexico, near the border with Guatemala, and paid between $2,500 and $3,500 to be taken to the central Mexican state of Puebla. Once there, they presumably contracted with another smuggling group to bring them to the US border.

Despite the cautionary tale, many migrants continue to move to the United States. On Thursday, after the crash, a group of nearly 400 mostly Central American migrants walked down the highway leading to Mexico City, ignoring requests from immigration officers and U.S. Coast Guard agents. National Guard to come on their own.

President of Mexico Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador blame poverty and underemployment for forcing people to migrate.

López Obrador, who has called for the United States to invest in development programs for Central America, said: “We have always emphasized that the causes of these unfortunate events must be addressed. He said the US government is moving slowly on the issue.

Pope Francis who visited Chiapas in 2015 and made the plight of migrants a hallmark of his pontificate, sent a telegram of condolences Friday to Archbishop Tuxtla Gutierrez, praying for those who died and their families as well as those who were injured.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/mexico-united-states-andres-manuel-lopez-obrador-guatemala-pope-francis-b1974116.html Survivors tell of truck crash in Mexico that killed 55 people

JACLYN DIAZ

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