LA CONCORDIA, Mexico (AP) -- A truck carrying Central American migrants in a hidden compartment plunged into a reservoir in southern Mexico, killing at least eight people, officials said Monday.
The victims drowned on Sunday in the waters of the La Angostura dam near Guatemala, where most of the migrants were believed to be from, La Concordia police commander Daniel Sanchez said.
Crews recovered the bodies of six men and two women, and police said at least four more are believed to have been aboard the vehicle. Three of the victims were identified as Guatemalan citizens.
The migrants had been hidden under a floorboard beneath a load of kitchen goods and were trapped when the driver apparently lost control and the vehicle sank in 65 feet (20 meters) of water, Sanchez said.
Many Central American migrants travel across Mexico in dangerous conditions en route to the United States, and a few stay to work illegally in Mexico itself. More than 180,000 were detained in 2007, according to Mexico's National Migration Institute.
Many once traveled as stowaways in railway freight cars, but they sought new routes north after Hurricane Stan damaged train tracks in southern Mexico in 2005.
Also Monday, police elsewhere in the southern state of Chiapas reported rescuing 10 Guatemalans, including a child, traveling in "inhuman conditions" in a hidden compartment of another truck. The driver and another man were detained.