‘They couldn’t breathe’: Migrant survived deadly trailer found in Texas by staying near door – National

A friend’s advice to stay near the door of a semi-trailer may have saved Yenifer Yulisa Cardona Tomas from the fatal end suffered by 53 other migrants when the truck was abandoned on the outskirts of San Antonio last week.

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Cardona Tomas, a 20-year-old from Guatemala’s capital, said in a phone interview Monday from her hospital bed that it was already hot on June 27 when she stepped out of the warehouse on the Texas side of the Mexico border where she had been waited and climbed into the back of the trailer.

The smugglers confiscated their cellphones and covered the floor of the trailer with what she believes was powdered chicken broth, apparently to deter dogs they might encounter at the checkpoints. As she sat crammed into the stuffy trailer with dozens of others, the powder burned her skin.

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How did the truck that killed 53 migrants get through a US border checkpoint?

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Cardona Tomas recalled her friend’s advice to stay near the door where it would be cooler and shared it with another friend she met during the trip.

“I told a friend that we shouldn’t go to the back and stay near (the entrance), in the same place, without moving,” said Cardona Tomas, who is being treated at the Metropolitan Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. This friend also survived.

As the truck moved on and made more stops to pick up more migrants, people like Cardona Tomas began to crowd near the door. She had no way of keeping track of time.

“People were screaming, some were crying. Most of the women demanded that it stop and open the doors because it was so hot they couldn’t breathe,” she said, who was still a bit speechless after being intubated at the hospital.


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The death toll continues to rise after a tractor-trailer truck carrying migrants was found in Texas


The death toll continues to rise after a tractor-trailer truck carrying migrants was found in Texas

She said the driver or someone else in the cab yelled back that “we’d be right there, that there were 20 minutes left, six minutes.”

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“People were asking for water, some had run out, others were carrying,” she said.

The truck occasionally stopped, but just before she passed out, it started to move slowly. She woke up in the hospital.

The driver and three other people were arrested and charged by US prosecutors.

According to the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry, 20 Guatemalans died in the incident, 16 of whom have been positively identified. Foreign Minister Mario Bucaro said he hoped the first bodies would be returned this week.

Continue reading:

San Antonio migrant death toll reaches 53 as defendants face federal charges

Cardona Tomas said the truck’s destination that day was Houston, although she ended up going to North Carolina.

“She didn’t have a job and asked me if I would help her migrate to the United States,” her father Mynor Cordon said Monday in Guatemala City, where the family lives. He said he knew of other cases of children who just left without telling their families and ended up disappearing or dying, so he decided to support them.

He paid a smuggler $4,000 — less than half the total cost — to bring them to the United States. She left Guatemala on May 30 and traveled to Texas in cars, buses and finally a semi-trailer.

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“I didn’t know she was going to be traveling in a trailer,” he said. “She told us it would be on foot. It seems like the smugglers decided at the last moment to put (her) in the trailer along with two other friends who survived. One of them is still in critical condition.”


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More than 50 migrants found dead in abandoned truck trailer in Texas


More than 50 migrants found dead in abandoned truck trailer in Texas

Cordon had kept in touch with his daughter until the morning of June 27. Her last message to him was this Monday at 10:28 am in Guatemala or 11:28 am in Texas. “We’ll be leaving in an hour,” she wrote.

Cardona Tomas’ family only found out about the abandoned trailer late that night. It was two more days before relatives in the United States confirmed she was alive and hospitalized.

“We cried so much,” Cordon said. “I even thought about where we will hold the wake and where they will be buried. She is a miracle.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

https://globalnews.ca/news/8966982/texas-migrant-deaths-survivor/ ‘They couldn’t breathe’: Migrant survived deadly trailer found in Texas by staying near door – National

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