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PHOENIX -- Eight illegal immigrants suffering from heat-related illnesses were given emergency medical care after being smuggled in the back of a U-Haul truck.

The immigrants told officials that the truck, driven by a white male, picked up 14 to 20 illegal immigrants in Douglas, Ariz., and brought them to the Bowlins Travel Center near Interstate 10 and Picacho Peak.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office received a call from an individual that saw several of the immigrants staggering in and around the van in need of medical attention.

"This is another example of how an unsecured border facilitates the inhumane and often deadly consequences of those involved with drug and human smuggling," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a press release. "Inside of the locked box of the U-Haul temperatures may have reached over 180 degrees."

Two of the immigrants were in critical condition and were airlifted to a hospital and six were transported by ambulances to local hospitals. Eight subjects were found by the van and an additional five to six subjects were found walking east into the desert.

KTAR Newsroom,

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