39 dead bodies have been found in a truck container in Essex. The vehicle, believed to be from Bulgaria, was found at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays. There were 38 adults and one teenager inside the container.
The truck driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
The police have said that identifying the victims remained a “number one priority”, but this is expected to be a “lengthy process”.
The National Crime Agency sent officers to assist and identify any “organised crime groups who may have played a part”. The vehicle is suspected to have taken an “unorthodox route” in order to get away from security checks and regular traffic.
The container where the victims were found was a refrigerated unit, where temperatures could be as low as -25C.
Bulgarian foreign affairs ministry said it had not been confirmed whether the truck was registered in the country or the nationalities of the bodies.
Police have appealed for witnesses and anyone with information about the lorry’s route to contact them.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during the Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament said, “I know that the thoughts and prayers of all members will be with those who lost their lives and their loved ones. I’m receiving regular updates. The Home Office will work closely with Essex Police as we establish exactly what has happened.”
Most asylum-seekers wanting to reach the Europe enter via hiding in trucks. The regular practice has also resulted in huge number of deaths in the past as well.
In 2017, 71 people were found dead in an abandoned lorry on an Austrian motorway. Going back further to 2000, 58 Chinese migrants were found suffocated to death in a lorry at Dover.