By Paul J. Weber | Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas — A 3-year-old child riding one of Texas’ migrant buses died while on the way to Chicago, officials said Friday, the first time the state has announced a death since it began shuttling thousands of migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border last year.
Texas authorities confirmed a child’s death in a statement Friday but did not say where the child was from or why they became ill. The Illinois Department of Public Health said the child was 3 years old and died Thursday in Marion County, in the southern part of that state.
“Every loss of life is a tragedy,” the Texas Division of Emergency Management said in a statement. “Once the child presented with health concerns, the bus pulled over and security personnel on board called 9-1-1 for emergency attention.”
The child received treatment from paramedics and later died at a hospital, according to the agency. The bus departed from the Texas border city of Brownsville. State officials said all passengers had their temperature taken and were asked if they had any medical conditions.
Spokespersons for Texas’ emergency management agency did not immediately respond to questions seeking additional details Friday.
Illinois officials said in a statement they were working with health officials, state police and federal authorities “to the fullest extent possible to get answers in this tragic situation.”
Texas has bused more than 30,000 migrants to Democratic-controlled cities across the U.S. since last year as part of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s sprawling border mission known as Operation Lone Star. Besides Chicago, buses have also been sent to Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Denver and Los Angeles.