An Irishman been arrested in connection with the deaths of 39 people following the discovery of the bodies inside a lorry container today (Weds).
Police and ambulance crews were called following the discovery at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, Essex at 1.40am.
All 39 people were pronounced dead at the scene and the lorry driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
The vehicle is believed to have come from Bulgaria and entered the UK at Holyhead in north Wales on Saturday.
Police in Essex Essex 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 19 October and we are working closely with our partners to investigate. We have arrested the lorry driver in connection with the incident who remains in police custody as our enquiries continue.”
Paige Wade was driving past the industrial park at 4.15am on the way home from work.
She told the PA news agency: “I honestly didn’t see much, I had just finished work while driving up Motherwell Way and all you could see was blue flashing lights, as I was driving past there was police tape to cordon off the start of eastern avenue.
“I knew it was serious because of how many police cars and ambulances were there, but the police had parked their cars across the whole access of the road so you couldn’t see anything.
“There’s always lorries around there as they park up there for the night, I couldn’t say whether I did or didn’t see the actual lorry in question.”