No details were provided on the origin of the victims. The truck driver from Northern Ireland, aged 25, was arrested.
Thirty-nine bodies were discovered in a truck on the night of Tuesday 22 to Wednesday 23 October in Grays, Essex, east of London. The truck driver from Northern Ireland, aged 25, was arrested, the British police said.
According to preliminary evidence, the truck was from Bulgaria and entered the United Kingdom on 19 October at Holyhead, a port on the west coast of Great Britain. Thirty-eight adults and one teenager died, police said.
No immediate information has been provided on the origin of the victims. "The identification process is in progress"Andrew Mariner, Essex police chief, quoted in a statement.
Behind this barrier, in an industrial area of 39; Essex, 39 bodies were found in the trailer of a ca … https://t.co/83V3H0LJuq
The driver in custody
Police were alerted around 1:40 am by the rescue services, who discovered the victims, according to the Essex police release. The driver of the truck was taken into custody, he added. A security device was put in place and the accesses of the Waterglade Industrial Zone, where the truck was discovered, were closed. The British Home Office has indicated that it is working with the police to establish the circumstances of this tragedy. Many migrants have been trying to reach the United Kingdom in recent years by hiding in truck trailers or by boats crossing the English Channel.
Boris Johnson told himself "Horrified" by "Tragic incident in Essex (…). My thoughts are with those who have lost their lives and loved ones, tweeted the British prime minister. Jackie Doyle-Price, Member of Parliament for the riding, said "Sickened". "Trafficking in human beings is a despicable and dangerous business", she added, hoping that "These murderers" be brought to justice.
In August 2015, 71 migrants from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan en route to Western Europe were suffocated in a refrigerated truck in Austria. Investigators had uncovered a smuggling ring run by a 30-year-old Afghan.