UPDATE: Lorry dead believed to be Chinese nationals, says Essex Police

A 25-year-old lorry driver from Northern Ireland remains in custody after 39 people were found dead in Grays yesterday morning, Wednesday October 23.

This is the largest murder investigation in Essex Police’s history and so far the following key facts have been ascertained:

The tractor unit of the lorry entered the country via Holyhead on Sunday October 20, having travelled over from Dublin.

The lorry then collected the trailer, which had travelled from Zeebrugge, at the port of Purfleet at around 12:30am on the October 23. The cab and trailer left the port shortly after 1.05am.
Of the dead, 38 are believed to be adults, and one is a young adult woman. It was previously reported that she may have been a teenager. Police have since confirmed that eight of the deceased are women and 31 are men and all are believed to be Chinese nationals.

Three properties in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, have been searched in connection with the investigation.

Each of the 39 people must undergo a full coroner’s process to establish a cause of death, before police attempt to identify each individual within the trailer.

Flowers that have started to appear in Eastern Avenue, and a Book of Condolences has been opened at the Civic Centre.

If you are worried about a family member, friend, or loved one, a dedicated hotline has been set up on 0800 056 0944 if you live in the UK and 0044 207 158 0010 if you’re dialling internationally.

If you have any information that you think can help the investigation please call police on 101 or submit your information online at https://mipp.police.uk.


Mick Ferris

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