At least eight migrants have drowned and dozens more have been rescued after trying to cross the Rio Grande River from Mexico to the United States, an official source said on Friday. US Customs and Border Guard (CPB) said in a statement provided to AFP that the drownings occurred on Thursday, when a group of illegal immigrants attempted to cross the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, in Texas.
Thirty-seven people were rescued, but during the rescue mission, eight migrants were found dead, two by Mexican police and six by US agents, according to the same source. A total of 92 migrants were arrested, 39 on the Mexican side of the river and 53 by US agents. No information was provided on the age or nationality of the migrants.
A CBP official told the Washington Post that the mass drowning appeared to be the worst in years along the Rio Grande. Eagle Pass is in the Del Rio area, where nearly 50,000 migrants were arrested last month, according to government data. City fire chief Manuel Mello told The New York Times that the migrants were swept away by strong currents about a mile south of the international bridge that connects Eagle Pass to Piedras Negras, Mexico. He pointed out that drownings had become frequent in the region, up to one a day.