Lorry container deaths investigation: What we know so far
The 39 victims included a teenager.
Police are investigating the deaths of 39 people found inside a lorry in Essex.
Here is what we know so far:
– Essex Police received reports of a number of people discovered inside a lorry container at 1.40am on Wednesday.
– The lorry was found at Waterglade Industrial Park on Eastern Avenue in Grays, Thurrock, in Essex.
– Ambulance staff found all 39 victims, including a teenager, dead inside the container.
– A murder investigation was launched and the lorry driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, was arrested on suspicion of murder and is in police custody.
– The lorry driver has been named in reports as Mo Robinson from Portadown in Co Armagh.
– Police have yet to identify the lorry victims or where they are from, saying that this could be a “lengthy process”.
– The lorry trailer is believed to have travelled from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Purfleet, Essex, and docked in the Thurrock area shortly after 12:30am on Wednesday.
– A freight ferry service runs from Zeebrugge to Purfleet.
– The tractor unit front section of the lorry is believed to have originated in Northern Ireland.
– Police believe the tractor unit and trailer left the port in Thurrock shortly after 1.05am.
– It was originally thought that the lorry entered the country through Holyhead in north Wales on Saturday.
I’m appalled by this tragic incident in Essex. I am receiving regular updates and the Home Office will work closely with Essex Police as we establish exactly what has happened. My thoughts are with all those who lost their lives & their loved ones.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) October 23, 2019
– The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Scania lorry was registered in Varna, a city on the east coast of the country, under the name of a company owned by an Irish citizen.
– The ministry added that police said it is “highly unlikely” the victims are Bulgarians.
– A road haulage expert said the lorry container appeared to be a refrigerated unit, with temperatures inside able to drop as low as -25C.
– A cordon was erected at the industrial site in Grays while police conducted their investigations.
– A casualty bureau was also set up by police for people to call if they are concerned about relatives who may be involved in the incident.
– The lorry was later moved under police escort from the industrial park to a secure location at Tilbury Docks.
We are aware of this tragic incident which is now the subject of a murder investigation being led by Essex Police and we have deployed NCA officers to assist. https://t.co/jm1mPjDi0r— National Crime Agency (NCA) (@NCA_UK) October 23, 2019
– Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “appalled” by the incident and said the perpetrators of the crime “should be hunted down and brought to justice”.
– Officers from the Essex Police, the National Crime Agency and Immigration Enforcement are all working on the case.
– The Police Service of Northern Ireland said it was supporting the Essex Police investigation, while the Irish police, An Garda Siochana, said they would “provide every assistance possible”.
– The incident is not the worst of its kind in the UK. The bodies of 58 Chinese people were found in a container at Dover, Kent, in 2000.