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The bodies of nine migrants attempting to cross the Rio Grande on Thursday were recovered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Mexican authorities, according to a statement shared with The Texas Tribune.
Dozens were swept downstream while attempting to cross the river near Eagle Pass where the river rose over two feet in a few days, according to The Associated Press.
“Border Patrol agents are coordinating with the Eagle Pass Fire Department and Maverick County Sheriff’s Office as the search continues for other possible victims,” said Cecilia Barreda, a CBP spokesperson, in a statement.
CBP located six bodies and the Mexican authorities recovered three victims, all near Eagle Pass on Thursday, according to a statement from the U.S. agency. The river’s swelling came after months of minimal precipitation, followed by heavy rains which caused a sudden surge in flow.
The National Weather Service told the AP that the river was flowing five times faster than usual.
CBP personnel and Border Patrol agents rescued 37 people who were in the river and detained 16 others, according to the statement. An additional 39 migrants on the southern side of the river were arrested by Mexican authorities.
The past few months have seen a high number of migrants dying while crossing the southern border. In June, 51 migrants died after being trapped in a tractor-trailer. Thursday’s drownings was one of the deadliest along the U.S.-Mexico border in recent history.
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