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1 dead, 5 injured at border near Otay Mesa

Authorities said one man was pronounced dead at the scene. Five other people were transported to a hospital.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — One man died Friday after attempting to climb the U.S.- Mexico Border fence in Otay Mesa, authorities reported Friday. The man fell from the secondary fencing west of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Outbound Commercial Facility in Otay Mesa, according to Border Patrol. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, San Diego Fire-Rescue and San Diego police responded to the scene of the incident, which was reported around 5 a.m.

Authorities said one man was pronounced dead at the scene. Five other people were transported to a hospital. 

No other information was released.

"The sheer volume of patients is the real difference that we're seeing, it's something we haven't seen before," said Dr. Vishal Bansal, the chief of trauma surgery at Scripps Mercy.

Dr. Bansal said they're treating some of the patients from this morning's incident.

Friday's death at the border wall comes just days after a UCSD Health study showed that severe injuries and deaths from falling over the U.S. Mexico border wall have skyrocketed in recent years. 

Doctors at UC San Diego Health started noticing more patients coming in with serious injuries from border wall falls. They believe it's linked to a height increase of the wall.

"Often times the bones had to be temporarily placed multiple times to go back to the operating room, lengthening the hospital stay. We were seeing more severe injury, brain injury, facial fractures, things requiring the ICU as well," said Dr. Amy Liepert, the Medical Director of Acute Care Surgery at UC San Diego Health.

Dr. Liepert and several other UCSD doctors began looking into incidents that happened from 2016 through 2021.

"Around 2019 there was a big change," she said. "We found in that three years before period, we had 67 patients and the three years after period, 375 patients."

That's a five-time increase in severe injuries. These patients require extensive care and long hospital stays.

WATCH: UCSD Health finds five-time increase in severe injuries from border wall falls

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