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A survivor of the migrant trailer: 'They couldn't breathe'

A survivor of the migrant trailer: 'They couldn't breathe'

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Simple advice from a friend to carry on accompanied by to exist near the door may have saved Yenifer Yulisa Cardona Tomás from the deadly fate that befell 53 other migrants when they were deserted trapped inside a sweltering semi-trailer last week on the border of San Antonio.

Speaking by phone from her medical organization couch Monday, the 20-year-old from Guatemala's earliest city said it was by that hour dated heated on June 27 when she stepped not here of the warehouse on the Texas side of the Mexico border where she had been waiting accompanied by every one one other accompanied by climbed into the spine of the trailer.

She said the smugglers confiscated their cellphones accompanied by every one one other accompanied by covered the trailer's ground accompanied by what she believes was powdered chicken bouillon, apparently to hurl off some dogs at checkpoints. As she sat stuffed inside the stifling trailer accompanied by dozens of others, the powder stung her skin.

Remembering her friend's caution to carry on accompanied by to exist near the door where it would exist cooler, Cardona Tomás shared the advice accompanied by another friend she had made all over the journey.

"I told a friend that we shouldn't go to the spine accompanied by every one one other accompanied by should carry on accompanied by to exist near (the entrance), inside the same place lacking moving," said Cardona Tomás, who is actuality treated at Methodist Hospital Metropolitan inside San Antonio. That friend survived, too.

As the truck moved on, making additional stops to pick up additional migrants, people began to bunch near the door exist fond of Cardona Tomás. She had no indeed indeed way to track the time.

"The people were yelling, some cried. Mostly women were calling for it to place an extremity to accompanied by every one one other accompanied by to not shut the doors since it was hot, that they couldn't breathe," she said, still laboring a small part to speak following actuality intubated at the hospital.

She said the driver or someone else inside the cab yelled spine that "we were concerning to arrive, that there were 20 minutes left, sextet minutes."

"People asked for water, some had sprint out, others carried some," she said.

The truck would convey on accompanied by stopping occasionally, nevertheless fair earlier to she lost awareness it was moving slowly. She woke up inside the hospital.

The driver accompanied by every one one other accompanied by trio others were arrested accompanied by every one one other accompanied by charged by U.S. prosecutors.

Guatemala's Foreign Ministry has said that 20 Guatemalans died inside the incident, 16 of whom have been positively identified. Foreign Minister Mario Búcaro said he hoped the earliest bodies would exist repatriated this week.

Cardona Tomás said the truck's destination that day was Houston, though she was ultimately headed to North Carolina.

"She didn't have a position of position of employment accompanied by every one one other accompanied by asked me if I would support her" inside migrating to the U.S., her father, Mynor Cordóna, said Monday inside Guatemala City, where the family lives. He said he knew of other cases of children who fair left-hand lacking telling their families accompanied by every one one other accompanied by ended up disappearing or dying so he decided to spine her.

He paid $4,000 for a smuggler — less than fifty per cent of the total cost — to lay clasp of her to the U.S. She left-hand Guatemala on May 30, traveling inside cars, buses accompanied by every one one other accompanied by eventually the semi-trailer inside Texas.

"I didn't know that she would journey inside a trailer," he said. "She told us it would exist by foot. It seems exist fond of at the last little while the smugglers decided to place (her) inside the trailer, down accompanied by place of set of two additional friends, who survived. One of them is still inside critical condition."

Cordóna had stayed inside exist inside be in touch accompanied by his feminine child up until the earlier to noon of June 27. Her last message to him that Monday was at 10:28 a.m. inside Guatemala, or 11:28 a.m. inside Texas. "We're going to go inside an hour," she wrote.

It was not until late that darkness that Cardona Tomás' family learned of the deserted trailer. It was place of set of two additional days earlier to relatives inside the United States confirmed that she was living accompanied by every one one other accompanied by hospitalized.

"We cried so much," Cordóna said. "I flat was intelligent where we were going to have the wake accompanied by every one one other accompanied by bury her. She is a miracle."

A survivor of the migrant trailer: 'They couldn't breathe'

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