Driver arrested after 39 people found dead in lorry container

Driver arrested after 39 people found dead in lorry container

A murder investigation has been launched today after 39 people were found dead in a lorry container at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, Essex.

Police believe the lorry come from Bulgaria and came into the UK via Holyhead on October 19.

Seamus Leheny, Northern Ireland policy manager for the Freight Transport Association, said if the lorry had come from Bulgaria, getting into Britain via Holyhead was an "unorthodox route".

"People have been saying that security and checks have been increased at places like Dover and Calais, so it might be seen as an easier way to get in by going from Cherbourg or Roscoff, over to Rosslare, then up the road to Dublin.

"It's a long way around and it'll add an extra day to the journey," he added.

The Road Haulage Association's Chief Executive, Richard Burnett said: “This is subject to an ongoing investigation. Our thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their lives, but whatever the circumstances of this tragedy it highlights the danger of migrant gangs people-smuggling on lorries.”

The lorry driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody.

Deputy Chief Constable of Essex Police Pippa Mills said: “At this stage we have not identified where the victims are from or their identities, and we anticipate that this could be a lengthy process.

“We will continue to work alongside many other partner agencies to find out what led to these deaths.

“I would like to appeal for anyone who has any information to contact my officers at the Major Investigation Team on 101 or visit our website.”

Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price, whose constituency includes the Grays industrial estate, said: "To put 39 people into a locked metal container shows a contempt of human life that is evil and the best thing we can do in memory of those victims is find the perpetrators and bring them to justice."