MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A Venezuelan woman died while trying to cross the frigid waters of the Rio Grande river from Mexico into the United States while three other migrants suffered hypothermia in the attempt, Mexico’s migration institute said on Wednesday.
An icy winter storm in recent days has plunged the border region into freezing temperatures, and caused at least 21 deaths across Texas and several other southern U.S. states.
Migration agents patrolling the river’s edge in Piedras Negras in Mexico’s Coahuila state, opposite Texas, had observed four people enter the water, the migration institute said in a statement. Two of them reached the United States.
“The remaining two fought to stay afloat,” the institute said.
Although one of them was able to turn back to Mexico, the person’s companion struggled in the water.
“She became trapped in the currents of cold water (minus 1 degree Celsius/30 degrees Fahrenheit), until losing her life,” the statement said.
Authorities said they identified the woman by the passport found in her clothes. They did not disclose her name.
Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Marguerita Choy