Police have launched a murder investigation after 39 bodies were found in the back of a lorry in Essex.
The horrendous discovery was made at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Greys in the early hours of the morning. All of the bodies were declared dead at the scene.
It’s reported the lorry is from Bulgaria and entered the UK on Saturday via Holyhead in North Wales, which is one of the main port for ferries from Ireland.
Officers have been on the scene from around 1.40am this morning, October 23, and have confirmed that 38 of the victims were adults while one was a teenager.
The lorry driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, has been taken into custody after police arrested him on suspicion of murder.
The Home Secretary said Home Office immigration officials were working closely with the police to establish what happened.
Chief superintendent Andrew Mariner said authorities are trying to identify the bodies, but it will be a ‘lengthy process’, as per BBC News.
This is a tragic incident where a large number of people have lost their lives. Our enquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened.
We are in the process of identifying the victims, however I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process.
We believe the lorry is from Bulgaria and entered the country at Holyhead on Saturday 19 October and we are working closely with our partners to investigate.
We have arrested the lorry driver in connection with the incident who remains in police custody as our enquiries continue.
I appreciate this cordon is going to disrupt the activity of local businesses in the area and we will work to ensure that disruption is kept as short as possible.
We are working with Thurrock Council to mitigate against any impact our investigation scene will have locally.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted to say he was ‘appalled by this tragic incident,’ and he will ‘work closely with Essex Police’ to ‘establish exactly what has happened.’
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
A cordon has now been put in place, and the Waterglade Industrial Park is closed off while officers continue their investigations.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.