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A man’s been arrested and a murder investigation is now underway after 39-bodies were discovered in a lorry container in Grays.
The grim discovery was made at the Waterglade Industrial Park at around 1.40 am this morning.
The lorry driver, a 25-year-old-man from Northern Ireland has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
In a statement on the Essex Police website, 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 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. I appreciate 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.”
Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle-Price has tweeted:
Home Secretary and MP for Witham, Priti Patel spoke in the House of Commons today:
Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott MP responded, commending the work of Essex Police:
Essex Police have set up a casualty bureau. Information was announced in a tweet:
Thurrock Council has arranged for a book of condolence to be opened for members of the public to share their sympathies following the tragic incident in Eastern Avenue, West Thurrock, today. The book will be available in the reception of the Civic Offices, Grays, for two weeks.
Cllr Terry Piccolo, Mayor of Thurrock, said:
“This is a tragic incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those who lost their lives in this terrible way. Thurrock Council will do all it can to assist Essex Police as their investigation continues.”