SAN ANTONIO -- Dozens of people are in a detention center Wednesday morning after they were rescued from a smuggling attempt Tuesday evening.
The people were found inside an air-conditioned big rig in an alley adjacent to Laurelhurst Drive inside Loop 410 at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night.
The people included men, women, and a few children, all of whom were preteens or older. Some of the people were treated by EMS for minor injuries. Five people were taken to a nearby hospital. Officials say the injuries happened as the people got out of the truck.
The remaining 50 people were taken to a detention center.
Officials say the truck was cool and the people had water in the trailer, but they were hungry.
"This was a totally different situation from the last time we had this," SAFD Chief Charles Hood said, referring to an incident last year where some smuggling victims died after being found in a trailer on the southwest side. "This is not like last time, when we had a bunch of body bags. There are agents at the hospitals talking with people. We are compassionate and providing good care. Each person has been medically screened."
A representative from the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) was on hand to advocate for the peoples' right to legal counsel.
"We help people seek asylum," said Jenny Hixon, RAICES Director of Education and Outreach. "We need to be humanitarian. We need to do something that is consistent with our values. We must show dignity and respect. We don’t know where they are going. There are lots of detention centers around South Texas."
At this time, officials have not said where the people were from or where they were going.
Armando Colunga is an east-side tow truck driver who saw the situation Tuesday night and bought pizza for the people found in a trailer. Hear from the good Samaritan below.