People help themselves to cargo after one of the accidents. People help themselves to cargo after one of the accidents.

Tractor-trailer accidents meant free chicken and electronics in Veracruz

The vehicles' spilled cargo was looted in short order

Some Veracruz residents might not have to buy Christmas dinner and presents this year after two semi-trailers overturned and were looted. Their cargo included food, electronics and more than 2,000 live chickens.

The first accident occurred Wednesday afternoon on the Coatzacoalcos-Villahermosa highway in the south of the state. A tractor-trailer carrying poultry to be processed hit a pothole, went out of control and flipped on its side.

It was not long until the word spread and residents of nearby communities, as well as passing motorists, began arriving and making off with the birds. Whether the chickens will survive the holidays remains unknown.

“I yelled at the people not to take the chickens but they didn’t pay attention, and well, it was me against a number of people. Then the police arrived and I asked them for help, but they couldn’t do anything either,” said the truck driver, who escaped unhurt.

The 2,000-plus chickens were gone within the hour to the horror of the driver, who could be held responsible for the loss to poultry producer Bachoco.

On Thursday morning, another semi-trailer crashed just a few kilometers down the road from the chicken incident. The second truck was loaded with a variety of Walmart products, including food and electronics. Like the first trailer, the driver lost control and it rolled over.

Again, the driver was uninjured but in less than 15 minutes the looting began. Police were unable to deter the swarm of drivers and nearby residents from taking the merchandise, but did manage to direct the flow of traffic and call a tow truck.

With reports from E-Veracruz and La Silla Rota

Reader forum

The forum is available to logged-in subscribers only.