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Thirteen children among refugees rescued from ship container terror

By Hayden Smith

Thirteen children aged as young as one were among the Afghan immigrants rescued from a shipping container yesterday.

Thirty of the 35-strong group found screaming and banging at the Port of Tilbury in Essex after arriving from Belgium were being quizzed by officials after being released from hospital.

Police said they included nine men and eight women aged 18 to 72 as well as 13 children aged between one and 12.

It was disclosed earlier that the immigrants are Sikhs who are understood to be from Afghanistan.

It was also revealed that the man who died after the container was opened is believed to have been in his 40s.

A postmortem examination was carried out yesterday but further tests are set to be undertaken to establish the cause of death.

Four others who remained in Southend Hospital were expected to be kept in for a second night.

Superintendent Trevor Roe, of Essex Police, said: “We now understand that they are from Afghanistan and are of the Sikh faith.

“We have had a good deal of help from partners within the local Sikh community in the Tilbury area to ensure these poor people, who would have been through a horrific ordeal, are supported in terms of their religious and clothing needs.”

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