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25 October 2019 04:32

Essex United Kingdom 39 bodies

Police say 39 dead in truck near London believed to be Chinese

The Chinese Government said on Thursday that they were working with British authorities as they tried to establish the identities of the 39 people found frozen to death in the back of a lorry. Police yesterday confirmed that there were eight women and 31 men found dead in the vehicle on an industrial estate in Grays after it had been shipped from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. Essex Police Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said on Thursday: "This is an incredibly sensitive and high-profile investigation, and we are working swiftly to gather as full a picture as possible as to how these people lost their lives. The Chinese embassy said it is in close contact with British police and officials were expected to visit Tilbury, in Essex, where the bodies were on Thursday being transferred to the mortuary. We are in close contact with the British police to seek clarification and confirmation of the relevant reports," the embassy said in a statement.

LONDON: All 39 people found dead in a lorry to the east of London are believed to be Chinese, British police said on Thursday (Oct 24), adding that raids had been carried out at three properties in Northern Ireland. "We have since confirmed that eight of the deceased are women and 31 are men and all are believed to be Chinese nationals," British police said in a statement. The victims were discovered in a container on the back of a truck in Grays, east of London, on Wednesday, shortly after arriving by ferry from Belgium. The local Essex Police force, which is working with immigration officials, said their initial priority is to try to identify the victims, thought to be 38 adults and one teenager. Each of the 39 people must undergo a full coroner's process to establish a cause of death, before authorities move on to identifying them, added the police.

"We read with heavy heart the reports about the death of 39 people in Essex, England," said an unverified Twitter account regularly attributed to China's UK ambassador, Liu Xiaoming. "We are in close contact with the British police to seek clarification and confirmation of the relevant reports," it said. Police officers drive away a lorry, with black plastic visible at the rear, in which 39 dead bodies were discovered at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, east of London, on Octr 23, 2019. A source familiar with the investigation said he was Mo Robinson from Portadown in the British province and the BBC reported that police had raided two houses in Northern Ireland as part of the investigation. British police forensics officers work on lorry, found to be containing 39 dead bodies, at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, east of London, on Oct 23, 2019.

For years, illegal immigrants have attempted to reach Britain stowed away in the back of trucks, often seeking to reach the United Kingdom from the European mainland. In Britain's biggest illegal immigrant tragedy, the bodies of 58 Chinese people were found crammed into a tomato truck at the southern port of Dover in 2000. Its red cab unit, which had "Ireland" emblazoned on the windscreen along with the message "The Ultimate Dream", entered Britain via Holyhead in north Wales, having started its journey in Dublin, police said. The chairman of Zeebrugge port, Dirk de Fauw, said he believed the victims died in the trailer before it arrived there. Prosecutors in Belgium have launched their own probe and confirmed Thursday the container had on Tuesday passed through Zeebrugge, one of the world's busiest ports for cargo on trucks.

"It is not yet clear when the victims were placed in the container and whether this happened in Belgium," the federal prosecutor's office said. Essex Police revealed the tractor unit of the truck entered Britain on Sunday on a ferry from Dublin to the Welsh port of Holyhead. In another incident Wednesday, police in Kent in southeast England said they had discovered nine people stowed away inside another truck, after stopping the vehicle on a motorway. Police are seen at the scene where bodies were discovered in a lorry container, in Grays, Essex, Britain Oct 23, 2019. Police officers drive away a lorry in which 39 dead bodies were discovered at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, east of London, on Oct 23, 2019.

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Shaun Sawyer, the national spokesman for British police on human trafficking, said many thousands of people were seeking to come to the United Kingdom. 39 dead in Essex truck container believed to be Chinese nationals, police say The 39 people found dead in a truck container in Essex, east of London, are all believed to be Chinese nationals, local police have confirmed. On Thursday morning (local time), police conducted raids on three properties in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, in relation to the incident. Police later confirmed all 39 of the victims were believed to be Chinese nationals. They said a 25-year-old man — locally identified on Wednesday as Mo Robinson from Northern Ireland, who was the driver of the truck — remains in custody on suspicion of murder. Later on Thursday police confirmed they had been granted an additional 24 hours to hold the truck driver in custody. Essex Police said in a statement: "Throughout yesterday, our detectives worked with partners to conduct initial enquiries into these tragic deaths and we continue to work diligently to piece together the circumstances of this horrific event, which has led to the largest murder investigation in our force's history. The Chinese embassy in London said in a subsequent statement: "We read with a heavy heart the reports about the deaths of the 39 people in Essex. The bodies of the victims were discovered inside the truck container on an industrial site in Grays, in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Police confirmed the truck had since been moved from the industrial park "to allow the next stage of [the] investigation to be conducted in peace, and to give the utmost dignity to those within the trailer as we prepare for a coroner's post-mortem examination". The truck then collected the trailer, having travelled from Zeebrugge in Belgium, at the port of Purfleet at about 12:30am on October 23. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was appalled by the news and was receiving regular updates about the investigation, which was focused on human trafficking. The National Crime Agency said it was assisting the investigation and working to "urgently identify and take action against any organised crime groups who have played a role in causing these deaths". LONDON - British police have confirmed that 39 people found dead in a truck container at an industrial park were Chinese nationals. Officers from the Essex police force in eastern England are leading the murder investigation, while officials from the Chinese Embassy in London have also visited the scene. "We read with a heavy heart the reports about the death of 39 people in Essex, England," the Chinese Embassy said in a statement. "We are in close contact with the British police to seek clarification and confirmation of the relevant reports." The truck driver, identified as 25-year-old Mo Robinson from Northern Ireland, has been arrested. The bodies were discovered early Wednesday morning after the truck arrived at the Waterglade Industrial Park, east of London. Truck trailers are parked among stacked cargo containers as British police investigate the deaths of 39 people found in a truck container they believe came from Zeebrugge, Belgium, Oct. 24, 2019. Police searched two properties in Northern Ireland Thursday that are believed to be linked to the investigation. Britain's National Crime Agency highlighted Zeebrugge as a potential weak spot in 2016, warning that smuggling gangs are turning away from busier ports such as Dover and targeting smaller freight terminals. A report from Britain's Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration highlighted the dangers, warning that "groups (of migrants) in unaccompanied, sealed containers, are likely to have been placed there by organized people smugglers. GRAYS, England (Reuters) - Police were given more time on Thursday to question a driver arrested on suspicion of murder after 39 people, believed to be Chinese nationals, were found dead in a refrigerated truck near London, with the investigation focusing on human trafficking. Paramedics and police found the bodies of 31 men and eight women on Wednesday in a truck container on an industrial estate at Grays in Essex, about 20 miles (30 km) east of London. "We read with heavy heart the reports about the death of 39 people in Essex," the Chinese Embassy said in a statement. The National Crime Agency, which targets serious and organized crime, said it was helping the investigation and working urgently to identify any gangs involved. Shaun Sawyer, national spokesman for British police on human trafficking, said thousands of people were seeking to come to the United Kingdom illegally. The trailer part of the truck arrived at Purfleet docks in Essex from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge - as did the vehicle involved in 2000. The chairman of Zeebrugge, Dirk de Fauw, said he believed the victims died in the trailer before it arrived there. Flowers are seen at the scene where bodies were discovered in a lorry container, in Grays, Essex, Britain October 24, 2019. The discovery of the bodies was made at 1.40 a.m. just over an hour after the container arrived in Purfleet, not far from the industrial estate in Grays. Essex police said their priority was to ensure dignity for the victims in the largest investigation of its kind undertaken by the force, which was likely to be time-consuming.