By Claire Gordon • 10 December 2021 • 9:29
At least 54 migrants have died and dozens more have been injured as a trailer carrying more than 100 people has overturned in the southern Mexico state of Chiapas. The Mexico truck crash happened on a busy road and pictures from the crash site show victims strewn across the road next to the fallen vehicle.
The accident happened as the people were being smuggled towards the American border, reports say and is one of the worst accidents of its kind in Mexico. There are at least 58 people injured, some seriously, said Luis Manuel Garcia, head of the Chiapas civil protection agency.
The victims included men, women, and children and local officials say they were mainly from Honduras and Guatemala, although this is yet to be confirmed. The truck was reportedly speeding when it flipped on a sharp bend and hit a pedestrian bridge on a main road leading to the Chiapas state capital Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador described the crash as “very painful” and wrote on Twitter that he “deeply regrets the tragedy”.
Chiapas, which neighbours Guatemala, is a major transit point for undocumented migrants as they try to reach the United States. Hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Central America try to cross through Mexico each year in a bid to reach the US.
Many of them pay smugglers, who illegally transport them in crowded and dangerous trucks like the one involved in the Mexico truck crash. A lot do not make it as the US-Mexico border is the single deadliest crossing in the world, according to data from International Organization for Migration (IOM). This year alone, at least 650 people have died trying to cross the border – more than in any other year since IOM’s records began.
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