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Inquest opens into lorry deaths of 39 migrants

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Tragedy: Police at the scene

Tragedy: Police at the scene

Tragedy: Police at the scene

A coroner has expressed his "deep condolences" to relatives of 39 Vietnamese nationals found dead in a lorry container in Essex as he opened the inquests into their deaths.

Area coroner for Essex Lincoln Brookes said it was "clearly on any view a tragedy on a large scale and a personal tragedy to each of the families".

A number of arrests have been made in relation to the tragedy, including that of lorry driver Maurice Robinson from Craigavon, Co Armagh.

In November he admitted conspiring to assist illegal immigration and acquiring criminal property, namely cash.

The names of the dead, including 10 teenagers, were read aloud by coroner's officer Nick Hale during the 10-minute hearing at Essex Coroner's Court.

Post-mortem and toxicology reports have given the cause of death as asphyxia and hyperthermia - a lack of oxygen and overheating - in an enclosed space, Mr Hale said. The hearing was adjourned until any criminal proceedings linked with the case are concluded, the coroner said.

Ten teenagers, including two 15-year-old boys, were among eight women and 31 males found dead in the lorry parked on the Waterglade industrial park in Grays on October 23 last year.

Those from Hai Phong were Dinh Binh Dinh, a 15-year-old boy; Phan Thi Thanh, a 41-year-old woman; and Dinh Dinh Thai Quyen, an 18-year-old man.

Those from Ha Tinh were Thi Tra My Pham (26); Dinh Luong Nguyen, a 20-year-old man; Huy Phong Nguyen, a 35-year-old man; Nhan Du Vo, a 19-year-old man; Manh Hung Tran, a 37-year-old man; Khanh Tho Tran, an 18-year-old man; Vo Van Linh, a 25-year-old man; Van Nhan Nguyen, a 33-year-old man; Phan Thang Bui, a 37-year-old man; and Huy Hung Nguyen, a 15-year-old boy.

Those from Nghe An were Thi Tho Tran, a 21-year-old woman; Bui Thi Nhung, a 19-year-old woman; Ngoc Nam Vo, a 28-year-old man; Dinh Tu Nguyen, a 26-year-old man; Van Ha Le, a 30-year-old man; Thi Ngoc Tran, a 19-year-old woman; Van Hung Nguyen, a 33-year-old man; Hoang Van Tiep, an 18-year-old man; Cao Tien Dung, a 37-year-old man; Cao Huy Thanh, a 37-year-old man; Thi Mai Nhung Tran, an 18-year-old woman; Minh Quang Nguyen, a 20-year-old man; Pham Thi Ngoc Oanh, a 28-year-old woman; Hoang Van Hoi, a 24-year-old man; Tho Tuan Nguyen, a 25-year-old man; Dang Huu Tuyen, a 22-year-old man; Trong Thai Nguyen, a 26-year-old man; Van Hiep Nguyen, a 24-year-old man; Thi Van Nguyen, a 35-year-old woman; Tran Hai Loc , a 35-year-old man.

Those from Quang Binh were Duong Minh Tuan, a 27-year-old man; Ngoc Ha Nguyen, a 32-year-old man; Tien Dung Nguyen, a 33-year-old man.

The others were Ba Vu Hung Nguyen, a 31-year-old man from Thua Thien Hue; Tran Ngoc Hieu, a 17-year-old boy from Hai Duong and Trong Thanh Le, a 44-year-old man from Dien Chau.

Belfast Telegraph