British police said the bodies of 39 people have been found in a truck in an industrial park in Thurrock, west England.
“We were called by colleagues from the ambulance service shortly before 1.40am (1240GMT) this morning Wednesday 23 October following the discovery of a lorry container with people inside at Waterglade Industrial Park, Eastern Avenue, Grays,” a statement from Essex Police said.
“Emergency services arrived but sadly, 39 people were pronounced dead at the scene. Early indications suggest 38 are adults and one aged in their teens,” it said.
Police cordoned off the area and arrested a 25-year old Northern Irish truck driver on suspicion of murder.
“This is a tragic incident where a large number of people have lost their lives. Our enquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened, Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner said.
“We are in the process of identifying the victims, however I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process,” he said.
Mariner said that the police believed the truck 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,” he added.
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