Sep 3, 2022 - World

9 found dead after fierce Rio Grande currents sweep migrants downstream

A migrant illegally crosses the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass, Texas.
A migrant crosses the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass, Texas. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Nine migrants died after being swept downriver while attempting to cross the Rio Grande at the Texas border, Customs and Border Protection confirmed to Axios.

The big picture: The migrants were passing through Eagle Pass, a town in southern Texas that has become "a major entry point for migrants," the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: The CBP said nine people drowned at the border Thursday morning.

  • At least 37 of the 53 migrants taken into custody were rescued from the river on the American side of the border, CBP told Axios in a statement.
  • Six migrants were found drowned by U.S. officials, CBP said. Mexican authorities found another six dead on their side of the border.
  • Local authorities are still searching the area for more potential victims.

State of play: Massive rainstorms and surging currents have hit the Rio Grande area in recent days with the river flow hitting at least 6 inches, according to NBC News.

  • Authorities told the New York Times that "fierce currents had swept a number of migrants downstream" while trying to cross the border.
  • The fire chief in Eagle Pass told NYT that drownings have become rather common at the Rio Grande in recent years. He pointed to an incident in July when 12 dead bodies were recovered at the border.

Go deeper: Border agents set new record amid historic migrant trends

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details.

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