AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – In a distressing turn of events, a young child, only three years old, tragically lost their life while being transported on one of Texas’ migrant buses en route to Chicago. This unfortunate incident marks the first reported death since the state commenced conveying thousands of migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border last year.
The authorities from Texas released a statement on Friday confirming the child’s demise; however, they did not disclose the child’s origin or provide details about the cause of their illness. Shedding light on the matter, the Illinois Department of Public Health acknowledged that the child, a three-year-old, passed away on Thursday in Marion County, located in the southern region of the state.
Expressing their condolences, the Texas Division of Emergency Management stated, “Every loss of life is a tragedy.” They further elaborated that upon the child displaying health concerns, the bus promptly pulled over, and the onboard security personnel immediately contacted 9-1-1 for emergency medical care.
According to the agency, the child received immediate attention from paramedics, but sadly, despite their best efforts, the child succumbed to their condition later in a hospital. The bus embarked on its journey from Brownsville, a city situated along the Texas border. State officials emphasized that all passengers underwent temperature checks and were asked if they had any preexisting medical conditions.
Texas’ emergency management agency representatives did not provide immediate answers to inquiries seeking further information about the incident when approached on Friday.
Meanwhile, Illinois officials collaborated with health authorities, state police, and federal agencies, deploying all available resources “to the fullest extent possible to obtain answers in this tragic situation,” as stated in their official statement.
Under the leadership of Republican Governor Greg Abbott, Texas has transported over 30,000 migrants to various cities across the United States. This massive undertaking, known as Operation Lone Star, aims to manage the ongoing border crisis. Alongside Chicago, buses have been dispatched to cities such as Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, and Los Angeles as part of these efforts.