Until tonight we had not paid much attention to the national headline grabbing story of the ten dead illegal aliens killed from overheating and dehydration during a 100 person human trafficking/smuggling operation in Texas. –Story Here– However, when reviewing the story and file video we immediately notice something that doesn’t appear to be discussed in the media anywhere. Look:
That semi-trailer is a refrigerated unit. That’s a Thermo King unit (circled above) on the front of the trailer. That trailer can carry refrigerated and frozen product. The refer unit has a fully adjustable commercial thermostat. That specific type of trailer is built to haul anything from ice or ice-cream to milk, produce or other perishables that require cold transport; or it can be turned off and just carry any cargo like an ordinary (non refrigerated) trailer.
And yes, the Thermo King unit can, albeit as an unintended use, act just like air conditioning too. It is a fully functional cargo cooling system, which can operate just like your own vehicles’ A/C system. The thermostat on the unit is programmable to whatever temperature you wish to maintain in the trailer.
The trailer has its own gas tank (you can also see that in the screengrab), which allows the refrigerated trailer unit to operate independently of the tractor. The motor for the Thermo King is not related to the operation of the tractor. The video for the screen-grab is below:
SAN ANTONIO (CNN) – Crowded inside of the boiling tractor-trailer, they took turns taking breaths from a hole in the semi. Some fainted. Others banged on the wall to get the driver’s attention but he kept going, one man who survived the journey told federal authorities.
The driver, James Matthew Bradley Jr. told federal investigators he had no idea dozens of undocumented immigrants were stuffed inside tractor-trailer he was hauling. The 60-year-old Florida man was charged Monday with knowingly transporting undocumented immigrants.
The assistant public federal defender who is representing Bradley couldn’t be reached for comment.
The tractor-trailer was found parked at a Walmart in San Antonio early Sunday morning after an employee at the store called police. Authorities found dozens of undocumented immigrants inside.
Eight people in the truck were already dead, and two more died after being hospitalized. Dozens more were severely injured, and many will suffer from “irreversible brain damage,” the city’s fire chief said.
A federal complaint shed light on the ordeal. One man from Mexico, who crossed the border through Laredo, Texas, said he and his brother traveled for a day before they climbed into the tractor-trailer; another man said he spent nearly 11 days at a Laredo “stash house” with about two dozen others before their journey on the semi.
Federal authorities are classifying the incident as a human smuggling case.
“This most recent example is an example of human smuggling where individuals were brought into the United States in violation of immigration law,” Jack Staton, acting assistant director for intelligence for Homeland Security Investigations at ICE, told reporters on Monday. (read more)
The fact the trailer had a Thermo King unit doesn’t change the horror of the incident. However, it does potentially aggravate the legal position of the driver, James Matthew Bradley (60), and raise questions as to whether he turned the unit off, or whether he even knew there were people inside.
Make of that aspect what you will, but the reality is that trailer was entirely capable of being the same temperature as the cab (or your own vehicle). It is a tragic situation made even more tragic knowing there was no need for anyone in that trailer to suffer in such heat.