8 people found dead in tractor-trailer with Iowa license plates - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

8 people found dead in tractor-trailer with Iowa license plates in Texas

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SAN ANTONIO, Tex. (AP) - UPDATE: 

San Antonio-based U.S. Attorney Richard Durbin Jr. says those responsible for the deaths of eight people inside a sweltering tractor-trailer truck outside a San Antonio Walmart store are "ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo."

Durbin says those inside the truck were helpless in the punishing 100-degree-plus (37.78-Celsius) heat and were victims of a "smuggling venture gone horribly wrong."

He says federal investigators will work with San Antonio police to identify those responsible.

After daybreak Sunday, the truck remained at the side and toward the back of the store. The scene is marked off with yellow crime-scene tape and with officers and patrol cars. The trailer of the 18-wheeler truck has an Iowa license plate. Neither it nor the truck's cab appear to have markings

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas --Eight people were found dead in a tractor-trailer outside a Walmart store in what police called a horrific human trafficking case, and the driver was arrested.

Several other people, possibly dozens, were found in the truck, which didn't have a working air conditioning system, and they were taken to hospitals, firefighters said. Authorities said the driver had been held, but they didn't release the driver's identity.

A person from the truck approached a Walmart employee in a parking lot and asked for water late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, San Antonio police said. The employee gave the person the water and then called police, and when officers arrived they found the eight people dead in the back of the trailer, police Chief William McManus said.

Investigators checked store surveillance video, which showed vehicles had arrived and picked up other people from the tractor-trailer, police said.

"We're looking at a human trafficking crime this evening," McManus said.

He called the case "a horrific tragedy."

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was involved in the investigation into what happened, he said.

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