Essex lorry deaths 39 dead. The bodies of 39 people have been found in a lorry trailer in Essex. The trailer arrived via ferry from Zeebrugge, Belgium, into Purfleet on the River Thames. Its ship docked in the Thurrock area shortly after 00:30.
It is believed the lorry then left the port about 35 minutes later.Then into Essex around 01:40am at water glade industrial park in Grays.
Essex Police said the trailer has been moved to a secure location where the bodies of those inside – a teenager and 38 adults – can be recovered. Although it’s not sure how or why the 39 people were in the lorry to begin with.
The driver, named locally as Mo Robinson, 25, from Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said identifying the victims remained a “number one priority”, but was expected to be a “lengthy process”.
The National Crime Agency said it had sent officers to assist and identify any “organised crime groups who may have played a part”.
Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, said the trailer appeared to be a refrigerated unit, where temperatures could be as low as -25C. He described conditions for anyone inside as “absolutely horrendous”.
A spokesman for the Bulgarian foreign affairs ministry confirmed the truck was registered in the country.“The Scania truck was registered in Varna (on the east coast) under the name of a company owned by an Irish citizen,” he said.
“Police said that it is highly unlikely that they are Bulgarians,” he added.
Police have appealed for witnesses and anyone with information about the lorry’s route to contact them. The force said it believed the tractor unit – or front part – of the lorry had come from Northern Ireland.