While the dead, as well as several detained persons, appear to be Indians, further efforts are on to confirm their nationalities

Indian consular teams from the US and Canada are rendering consular assistance regarding the four persons found dead at the US-Canada border and the persons detained by the US authorities for not having proper documentation.

The bodies of four people who appear to be Indian nationals were found on the Canadian side of the US-Canada border near Emerson on Wednesday. The four, who appeared to have died due to the cold, included two adults, a teen and an infant. The US authorities have also detained seven people without proper documentation on their side of the border.

According to sources, the Consulate General of India in Toronto has sent a consular team to Manitoba, which is now liaising with local authorities to render any consular help regarding the four dead people. The Consulate General as well as the High Commission in Ottawa are also in touch with Canadian provincial and federal authorities for ascertaining details of this tragedy.

The US authorities have detained seven people without proper documentation, as well as one US citizen, for allegedly being involved in human smuggling activity from Canada to the US. One of them is still hospitalized due to cold-related injuries. One more person had been hospitalized earlier.

The Consulate General of India in Chicago has urgently sent a consular team to Minneapolis, which is now coordinating and rendering consular assistance. They have sought consular access to the detained persons. The Consulate and the Embassy in Washington D.C. are also in touch with US Department of Justice, and the US Customs and Border Police, the sources said.

On January 19, US authorities in Minnesota State, near the US – Canada border, came across a group of people who were apparently without proper documentation, the sources said. Based on information obtained from them, Canadian authorities launched a search and found four bodies in Manitoba province on the Canadian side of the border.

The people without proper documentation on the US side, as well as the dead people on the Canadian side, appear to be Indian nationals. However, further efforts are underway to identify them and confirm their nationalities, the source pointed out.

Post-mortem of the victims is likely to be carried out on January 24.