Thurrock Council considers long-term memorial to 39 dead in lorry tragedy

THURROCK Council may install a long-term memorial to 39 people who were found dead in a lorry container last month.

The authority said it would properly investigate the idea after Christmas.

It made the announcement as it said a book of condolence for the deceased would be closed today, and a temporary memorial will be dismantled tomorrow.

The 39 bodies were found in an international shipping container in Eastern Avenue, Grays, on October 23, having arrived into the borough on a ship in Tilbury. They were later identified as Vietnamese nationals.

The council opened a book of condolence on the day of the discovery, which a senior police officer said was ‘an absolute tragedy’.

It has since been signed by ‘hundreds of local residents and dignitaries’, the council said.

But the book, at the council’s offices, closed on Friday November 23.

The council said flowers, candles and ornaments which had been left as a tribute in Eastern Avenue, as well as in Mulberry Gardens, Grays, would be ‘respectfully removed’ tomorrow, November 26.

However, the council said any cards and ‘small ornaments’ would be stored, along with the book of condolence.

Then, a spokesman said, “Thurrock Council will liaise with Essex Police to ensure the book and any tributes kept are delivered to the appropriate Vietnamese authorities.

“A longer term memorial will be considered, in consultation with a number of partners, early in the New Year.”

Charles Thomson

Chief ReporterEmail: [email protected]