The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency reveals that a second accident involving 19 suspected illegal aliens happened this week at around the same time and place as a mass casualty incident that resulted in at least 13 deaths. All the victims are believed to be illegal immigrants who were crammed into an SUV.
The two separate incidents happened in the early morning hours of Tuesday, when two SUVs made their way through a 10 foot hole that was cut in an old section of the border fence, built prior to former President Trump’s construction of a new border wall.
According to the CBP, the first accident involved a Ford Expedition carrying 25 people, which collided with a tractor-trailer. 12 people died instantly and another died at the hospital. All other victims were transported with various injuries ranging from serious to critical.
The second vehicle was identified as a Chevy Suburban and was discovered in a nearby area engulfed in flames. The Los Angeles Times reports that 19 people were found hiding in the bushes near the crash. The CBP states that they entered the country illegally through a breach in the border fence. According to USA Today, the second vehicle was carrying 19 people before catching fire some 30 miles after crossing the border.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has opened a human smuggling investigation following the mass casualty incident.
“Special Agents from Homeland Security Investigations San Diego responded to the scene of today’s fatal crash in El Centro, California, and have initiated a human smuggling investigation,” ICE stated. “The investigation is ongoing and no further details are available at this time.”
“This is a tragedy that has once again exposed the weakness of those portions of the border not protected by the new wall system,” former senior DHS immigration adviser Ken Cuccinelli told the Daily Wire. “These folks came easily through an old and worn out part of the old wall protecting our border.”