London, 23 October 2019 (dpa/MIA) – Police in south-eastern England said emergency services recovered 39 bodies early Wednesday from a lorry container believed to have been driven from Bulgaria.
Essex Police said they investigated a report early Wednesday of “a lorry container with people inside” at the Waterglade Industrial Park near the town of Grays.
“Emergency services arrived but sadly, 39 people were pronounced dead at the scene,” the police said, adding that early indications suggested the victims were 38 adults and one teenager.
They said the truck driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted that she was “shocked & saddened by this utterly tragic incident.”
“This is a tragic incident where a large number of people have lost their lives. Our enquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened,” Essex Police Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner said in a statement.
“We are in the process of identifying the victims, however I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process,” Mariner said.
“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.”
Holyhead is a port in North Wales with vehicle ferry links to Dublin in Ireland.