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ESSEX Police has launched a murder investigation after the bodies of 39 people were found inside a lorry container in Grays, in the early hours of this morning.
The force said it was called to the Waterglade Industrial Park in Eastern Avenue by the ambulance service at 1.40am on Wednesday, October 23.
A police spokesman said: “Sadly, 39 people were pronounced dead at the scene. Early indications suggest 38 are adults and one is aged in their teens.”
A police cordon has been set up around the area and there is currently no access to the industrial park.
Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner said: “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, October 19, and we are working closely with our partners to investigate.
“I appreciate that 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.”
*A 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland has been arrested on suspicion of murder.