Essex lorry horror: Bodies of 39 all Chinese - latest updates as driver's family fly in



24.10.2019 09:50

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Police made the grim discovery on an industrial estate near Grays, Essex, in the early hours of yesterday. An investigation is underway and the 25-year-old lorry driver has been arrested on suspicion of murder. It is understood the victims included men, women and one teenager.

Police have searched two addresses in Northern Ireland as officers continue to question a man over the discovery of 39 bodies in a refrigerated lorry trailer.The searches in Co Armagh are believed to be linked to the arrest of the driver who remains in custody for questioning by Essex Police.Detectives have said the trailer containing the victims arrived at Purfleet from Zeebrugge in Belgium at around 12.30am on Wednesday and the front section to which it was attached, known as the tractor, came from Northern Ireland.

The lorry and trailer left the port at Purfleet shortly after 1.05am and officers were called around 30 minutes later after ambulance staff made the grim discovery at Waterglade Industrial Park in Eastern Avenue in nearby Grays.Eric Van Duyse, a spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor's office, said that Brussels had started an investigation into the incident.He said: "We have no idea at the moment how long the lorry spent in Belgium, it could be hours or days, we just don't know."

The deaths follow warnings from the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Border Force of the increased risk of people-smuggling via Belgium and into quieter ports such as Purfleet.The NCA previously said it had a "greater focus" on rising smuggler numbers in Belgium after the closure of a migrant camp, and aBorder Force assessment highlighted Zeebrugge as being among "key ports of embarkation for clandestine arrivals".BREAKING NEWS. MORE FOLLOWS....


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