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First Survivor Of Texas Migrant Truck Horror Speaks Out About Experience

First Survivor Of Texas Migrant Truck Horror Speaks Out About Experience

She had been advised to stay near the truck's door to stay cool

A migrant who survived a deadly truck smuggling ordeal into the US in extreme heat has spoken out about her experience.

Yenifer Yulisa Cardona Tomás, from Guatemala City, 20, told the Associated Press that she entered the truck which killed 53 of almost 100 migrants in Mexico, where it was already hot, on 27 June.

In a bid to throw off the US authorities, powdered chicken bouillon was poured onto the floor of the vehicle, Tomás said, and each of the immigrants loaded inside had their mobile phones taken from them.

Tomás explained that the powder burned her skin, but she stayed near the door of the truck, which another friend had advised her would be the coolest place to sit.

"I told a friend that we shouldn't go to the back and should stay near [the entrance], in the same place without moving," she recalls saying to the other migrant, who also survived.

She explained that the number of people crowding around the door slowly began to increase, as did their desperation when they realised how hot it was getting.

The truck was abandoned on a San Antonio back road.

"The people were yelling, some cried. Mostly women were calling for it to stop and to open the doors because it was hot, that they couldn't breathe," she said.

While some people asked for water, there were others who simply didn't have any in the sweltering conditions.

Tomás said she remembers the truck making the occasional stop before she eventually passed out and woke up in hospital, but she was one of the lucky ones.

The truck itself was later abandoned outside San Antonio and 53 people lost their lives.

Homero Zamorano, 45, the alleged driver, who could now face the death penalty, reportedly thought that the air conditioning was working.

As reported by BBC News, he said: "The driver was unaware the air conditioning unit stopped working and was the reason why the individuals died."

He was found hiding in bushes near the abandoned truck and is one of four people charged over the incident.

Zamorano was 'very high' on meth when he was discovered by police, and he initially pretended to be one of the surviving migrants from the truck.

That those who perished were reportedly from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

According to first responders, temperatures were in excess of 115 degrees inside the truck and those who lost their lives were hot to the touch, having died from heatstroke and dehydration.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Featured Image Credit: Minex Guatemala/Sky News Australia

Topics: News