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10 teens among the 39 Vietnamese who died in lorry smuggling horror

39 people were found dead inside a lorry last month (Victoria Jones/PA)
39 people were found dead inside a lorry last month (Victoria Jones/PA)

By Peter Stubley

Ten teenagers including two 15-year-old boys were among the 39 people found dead in a lorry after being smuggled into the UK, police have confirmed.

The names and ages of all the victims were released yesterday, just over two weeks after their bodies were discovered in a trailer in Grays, Essex.

They included Pham Thi Tra My (26), who texted her mother to say "I'm dying because I can't breathe" as she was transported to Purfleet from Zeebrugge in Belgium.

All 39 victims, eight of whom were female and 31 male, came from six provinces in Vietnam.

The youngest were the 15-year-olds Nguyen Huy Hung, from Ha Tinh, and Dinh Dinh Binh from Hai Phong, while the oldest was 44-year-old Le Trong Thanh from Dien Chau.

Essex Police said in a statement that they had all been formally identified after a commission was set up, overseen by the county's senior coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray.

Essex Police said the UK and Vietnamese Governments were working together to repatriate the victims.

Maurice Robinson, a 25-year-old lorry driver from Northern Ireland, has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration, and money laundering.

A second man, Eamonn Harrison (22), was charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, along with human trafficking and immigration offences after being arrested in Ireland last week. Essex Police have started extradition proceedings to bring him to the UK.

Detectives have urged Ronan Hughes (40) and his brother Christopher (34), said to have links with the road haulage and shipping industries, to hand themselves in for questioning.

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