At least 54 migrants were killed and dozens injured when their truck toppled on a mountain road southeast of Mexico City during a hauling protest, officials said Friday.
Those included 25 girls and women who died in a single truck. Another dozen people died inside a second truck, which was still being pulled apart.
Fifty-seven people were injured in the accident Thursday in the border state of Coahuila, said Fernando Espinoza Mena, the governor of Coahuila.
Two border police officers also died in the incident, which occurred near the town of Piedras Negras, across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas.
Espinoza Mena offered no reason for the truck tipping over, but said early indications suggested it was trying to avoid being run over by a truck carrying drunken drivers, although that still had to be verified.
#Mexico authorities say 54 migrants have died and 73 have been injured after their truck crashed and tipped over in the state of Coahuila.
11 police also died in the accident.
Authorities say 15 men in the smuggling truck were arrested and were being held in Coahuila. https://t.co/O89utfXqHy pic.twitter.com/7OXwpOWwOr — ABC News (@ABC) February 9, 2018
The tragedy unfolded as Mexican authorities stepped up security along the country’s southern border in response to a caravan of Central American migrants in the United States.
The migrants, who first ventured into the United States on Dec. 1, were heading back north through Mexico when the accident occurred.
Mexico suffered its deadliest truck crash in two decades when at least 15 Central American migrants died after their truck overturned in a Guatemalan river last May.