Texas authorities search for tanker truck believed to contain dozens to be trafficked

Billboards displaying a campaign against human trafficking are seen at Knight Center Metrorail station in Downtown Miami on January 9, 2020. - Every year, the American football season ends with the vast spectacle of the Super Bowl, drawing in celebrity superstars, hugely expensive advertising and 100 million viewers.<br /> But the sporting mega-event also has a darker side: a spike in human trafficking, in particular a rise in sexual exploitation. This year, Miami will host the Super Bowl on February 2, but the party city in southern Florida -- already the state with the third highest rate of human trafficking in the country, after California and Texas -- worries that the combination of the huge sport event in proximity to its world-famous beaches and clubs will create a perfect storm of sex trafficking. (Photo by Eva Marie UZCATEGUI / AFP) (Photo by EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images)

Billboards displaying a campaign against human trafficking are seen at Knight Center Metrorail station in Downtown Miami on January 9, 2020. (Photo by EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:25 AM PT – Saturday, February 13, 2021

Authorities in Texas asked the public to be on the lookout for a tanker truck, which may contain about 80 people trapped inside. Federal, state and local law enforcement in Texas took part in a state wide search for the white tanker truck allegedly carrying human trafficking victims.

According to authorities on Thursday, a 911 dispatcher received a distressing call Monday of an unidentified man speaking in Spanish. He said dozens of people were trapped in the container and couldn’t breathe. Other voices, including that of a woman, could also be heard in the background screaming for help while gasping and crying.

Officials fear the travelers may now be far away from each other and said they hope they survived the trip.

“All the 80 passengers could have been scattered to the four winds soon thereafter, I mean, they may not have all stayed here in their county, some of them might be in other parts of the country by now,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said. “We just don’t know, but all I’m interested in finding out at this point is: did they make it to their final destination, wherever that may be? Did everybody survive that trip?”

Authorities were able to track the call to a business, which provided surveillance footage that officials believe shows the tanker truck in question.

“That’s the kind of thing that as a first responder you lose sleep over,” Salazar added. “You’re just wondering, are there people that were dumped in our county and just waiting to be found by some miracle? By the grace of God, did they all survive and are alive and well somewhere? We just don’t know. That’s the frustrating thing.”

Officials asked anyone who may have seen the truck or who may possess any other helpful information to come forward. Meanwhile, the level of illegal immigration continues to rise while Joe Biden moves to allow over 25,000 asylum seekers into the U.S.

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