Police in England on Wednesday discovered a lorry container with 39 dead bodies. The dead bodies included 38 adults and one teenager. According to the Essex Police, the lorry, which was believed to have been registered in Bulgaria, was found shortly before 01:40 BST (6:10 IST) at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays on Wednesday morning.
However, Reuters news agency reported that Boyko Borissov has said Bulgaria had ‘no connection’ to the lorry beyond its registration and that the vehicle had not entered the country since 2017.
The Essex Police has arrested the lorry driver, a 25-year-old man, on suspicion of murder. The driver has been identified as one Mo Robinson. According to London’s Sky News, Robinson hails from Portadown in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.
According to the police, the lorry may have travelled from Zeebrugge in Belgium into Purfleet on the River Thames. A report by BBC said that the tractor unit of the lorry had originated in Northern Ireland.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressed his shock at the tragedy. He wrote on Twitter, “I’m appalled by this tragic incident in Essex. I am receiving regular updates from the Home Office & will work closely with Essex Police as we establish exactly what has happened. My thoughts are with all those who lost their lives & their loved ones.”
I’m appalled by this tragic incident in Essex. I am receiving regular updates and the Home Office will work closely with Essex Police as we establish exactly what has happened. My thoughts are with all those who lost their lives & their loved ones.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) October 23, 2019
Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said that identifying the victims remained a ‘number one priority’ for his team adding that the process may prove to be quite lengthy. The National Crime Agency, on the other hand, said that it had sent officers to assist and identify any ‘organised crime groups who may have played a part.’