54 die in Mexico after lorry overloaded with people in the back overturns

Around 200 Central Americans were in the lorry, making a journey through Mexico to get into the US (Pictures: Getty)

At least 54 were killed and 40 more were seriously injured when a people-smuggling lorry flipped over in Mexico.

Some 200 Central Americans, reportedly including several children, were thought to have paid thousands to be driven through Mexico in an illegal journey to the US.

But dozens were killed or left seriously injured after a tragic crash yesterday.

The overloaded lorry toppled while turning on a sharp bend in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez, in southern Mexico.

The impact of the collision was so extreme, the mettle container at the back of the lorry came loose from the vehicle and burst open. The lorry was designed to move cargo and would likely have been unsafe for people.

Horrific scenes unfolded as dead bodies were laid out onto plastic sheets on the side of the highway and others were rushed to hospital.

Mexican authorities have confirmed 54 people were killed – the worst single-day migrant death tolls since 72 people were massacred by the Zetas drug cartel in 2010.

It is unconfirmed whether the lorry’s driver survived but local media has reported he fled the scene to avoid being arrested.

Volunteer rescuers and paramedics lifted head bodies and laid them out on the side of the highway (Picture: Getty Images)
Many have been taken to hospital with serious wounds while three have been classed as critically injured (Picture: Reuters)
The overloaded truck flipped over while turning around a sharp bend (Picture: Getty)

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At least 40 people were taken to hospital with serious wounds, according to Luis Manuel Moreno – the head of the civil defence office for Chiapas, the state where Tuxtla Gutierrez is located.

So far, three people have been classed as critically injured.

Others who had been hurt did not want to risk being deported and ran away from the scene, according to paramedics who saw people limping off.

Most of the passengers were from Honduras and Guatemala, it is believed. They reportedly paid between £1,900 and £2,600 for the trip to Mexico’s central state Puebla.

Survivor Celso Pacheco, from Guatemala, told local media it felt like the driver was going too fast to keep control of the extremely heavy lorry.

Mr Pacheco said he was trying to get to the US but now expects to be deported back home.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei wrote on Twitter: ‘I deeply regret the tragedy in Chiapas state, and I express my solidarity for the victims’ families, to whom we will offer all the necessary consular assistance, including repatriation.’

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