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39 bodies found inside lorry container in southeast England

21 |
Update: 2019-10-23 16:21:37
39 bodies found inside lorry container in southeast England

Police have launched one of UK's biggest ever murder probes after the bodies of 39 people, including one teenager, were found in a lorry container in Essex of southeast England .  

Detectives made the horrific discovery after they were called to the Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays in the early hours of this morning. 

Paramedics were also called to the site near the Dartford Crossing, but none of those inside the lorry were able to be saved.

The lorry was originally from Bulgaria and had entered the UK at the Welsh port of Holyhead, Wales, where ferries arrive from Ireland. It has been suggested that those on board may have been trying to get into Britain through Ireland

The lorry's driver, a 24-year-old man from Northern Ireland, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Police have not said where the people who died are from or where they were thought to be travelling to. They said it could take a long time to identify those who have died.

Police said it may take a long time to identify those found on board. The truck driver is currently being questioned. 

The investigation will now try to work out where the people who died came from and what route they had taken to get to the UK.  

Seamus Leheny, Northern Ireland policy manager for the Freight Transport Association (FTA), said: 'If the lorry came from Bulgaria, getting into Britain via Holyhead is an unorthodox route.

'People have been saying that security and checks have been increased at places like Dover and Calais, so it might be seen as an easier way to get in by going from Cherbourg or Roscoff, over to Rosslare, then up the road to Dublin.

'It's a long way around and it'll add an extra day to the journey.'

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Society, added 'this tragedy highlights the danger of migrant gangs people-smuggling on lorries'.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is 'appalled' and that his thoughts are with those who lost their lives and their loved ones. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted this morning: 'Shocked and saddened by this utterly tragic incident in Grays. Essex Police has arrested an individual and we must give them the space to conduct their investigations.'

Jackie Doyle-Price, the Conservative MP for Thurrock, tweeted: 'Sickening news of 39 people found dead in a container in Grays.

The industrial estate is next to the Dartford Crossing and is used as a stopping point for lorries travelling south to the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel, although the planned route of the lorry involved is unknown. 

A restaurant worker in the industrial estate, who did not want to be named, said the area was cordoned off by police this morning.

'There's a lot of police and forensics,' the Big Blue Food Bus employee said. 'We've just seen what has been said online. It's awful. We thought maybe someone had broken into a lorry, but it's just awful.'

'People trafficking is a vile and dangerous business. This is a big investigation for Essex Police. Let's hope they bring these murderers to justice.'

Source: Daily Mail

BDST: 1614 HRS, OCT 23, 2019

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