Truck X-Ray Nabs 513 Migrants

People wedged into two trucks suffered dehydration, lack of air

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 18, 2011 12:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – Mexican police saw something shocking when they aimed their X-ray scanners at a pair of tractor trailers at a checkpoint in Chiapas. The trucks were jammed full of 513 illegal migrants, many of them suffering from dehydration, the AP reports. Though air holes had been cut in the top of the trucks, the migrants said they felt suffocated as well. “We were suffering,” one said. “It was very hot, and we were clinging to the ropes.”

The migrants hailed from throughout South America, Central America, and even Asia, and were bound for the US. Some said they were charged around $7,000 for the trip. Mexican authorities say it was their largest migrant smuggling bust in years. The type of scanner that spotted the migrants was, interestingly enough, similar to the devices so reviled by airline passengers, the New York Times notes.

Migrants from Latin America and Asia leave a truck that was heading to the US after being detected by X-ray equipment.   (AP Photo/Chiapas State Attorney General)
Migrants from Latin America and Asia stand in line after after being detected by X-ray equipment inside two trucks at a checkpoint near Tuxtla Gutierrez, in Mexico, May 17, 2011.   (AP Photo/Chiapas State Attorney General)
A truck used to carry migrants from Latin America and Asia toward the US border is seen in this photo from the Chiapas government.   (AP Photo/Chiapas State Attorney General)
This X-ray photo from the Chiapas State Attorney General Office shows some of the 513 migrant workers found huddled into two trucks at a checkpoint in Mexico.   (AP Photo/Chiapas State Attorney General)
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