Minute’s silence held in honour of 39 found dead in lorry container

Just over a week on from the tragic incident in Grays, emergency services workers and public servants from across the county came together to observe a minute’s silence at 11am today.

This took place as a mark of respect for the 39 people who were found dead in a container in the Waterglades Industrial Park on Wednesday October 23.

Essex Police Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: “Last week our county was shaken by this harrowing event. Our thoughts continue to be with all those who have lost their lives, and also with their loved ones.

“To the families of those who died, I promise that we will do everything in our power to bring justice to all those who were responsible for the horrific journey that brought your loved ones to our shores.”

He also paid tribute to everyone who either responded to the tragedy in the first few days, or who is currently working on the ongoing investigation.

Chief Constable Harrington added: “So many dedicated men and women are doing an amazing job in the most horrific of circumstances. Our officers went out on duty that night, not knowing what they would have to experience.

“They are ordinary people doing an extraordinary job, and I am incredibly proud of them.”

The search continues for Ronan Hughes and Christopher Hughes in connection with the ongoing investigation.

The brothers, aged 40 and 34 respectively, are both from Armagh in Northern Ireland and also have links to the Irish Republic.

Maurice Robinson, 25, of Laurel Drive, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration, and money laundering and is next due to appear at the Old Bailey on 25 November.

Three other people arrested – a 38 year-old man, a 38 year-old woman, and a 46 year-old man – have all been released on bail until November.

A European Arrest Warrant has been executed in Dublin today, Friday 1 November, in connection with the investigation.

Eamon Harrison, 23, of Mayobridge, Northern Ireland, is charged with 39 offences of manslaughter, as well as human trafficking and immigration offences.

He has appeared before the High Court, Criminal Courts of Justice, Dublin, and remanded in custody.

The Crown Prosecution Service has started extradition proceedings to bring him to the UK.

Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to call the Major Crime Team on 101 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or submit information through their website.

If you have any concerns about a friend or loved one, who you believe may be a victim of the Grays tragedy, please call the dedicated hotline on 0800 056 0944 if you are inside the UK. If you are dialling internationally please call 0044 207 158 0010.

A minute’s silence was also honoured by officers and staff at Grays Police Station

Mick Ferris

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