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Up to 11 Bodies Found in Train Car

October 15, 2002

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DENISON, Iowa (AP) _ Up to 11 bodies, possibly immigrants being smuggled into the country, were found in a Union Pacific rail car, authorities said Monday night.

All the victims were from Mexico, said Jerry Heinauer, district director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service for Nebraska and Iowa.

Heinauer said he was told by the Mexican consul that the car left Matamoros, Mexico, in June. It was parked in Oklahoma before heading to Denison, about 60 miles northwest of Omaha, Neb.

He said authorities do not yet know whether the victims were being smuggled into the country, but said the case fit the pattern of smuggling operations. The bodies were found Monday afternoon.

``Unfortunately it does happen occasionally that smugglers lead migrants into the United States and then they lock them in cars,″ Heinauer said.

State and local investigators, along with the railroad, were looking into the deaths. ``No foul play is suspected,″ said a statement released by the Crawford County sheriff’s office.

Union Pacific spokesman John Bromley in Omaha, Neb., said the bodies were found in a covered grain hopper car at the FSC Archer Daniels Midland elevator. Decatur, Ill.-based ADM is a grain processing and food products company.

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