Police Trace Final Journey of 39 Found Dead in Truck

'To put 39 people into a locked metal container shows a contempt for human life that is evil'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 24, 2019 3:35 AM CDT
Updated Oct 24, 2019 6:48 PM CDT

(Newser) – Authorities found 39 people dead in a truck in an industrial park in England on Wednesday and arrested the driver on suspicion of murder in one of Britain's worst human-smuggling tragedies. All 39 were Chinese citizens. Police are reconstructing the final journey of the victims and trying to piece together how they came to be in England. No cause of death has been made public. Police said one victim appeared to be a teenager but gave no further details. "To put 39 people into a locked metal container shows a contempt for human life that is evil," said Jackie Doyle-Price, a member of Parliament who represents the area where the truck was found. "The best thing we can do in memory of those victims is to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice."

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The truck and the trailer with the people inside apparently took separate circuitous journeys before ending up on the grounds of the Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, Essex, the AP reports. British police said they believe the container went from the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium to Purfleet, England, where it arrived early Wednesday. Police believe the truck traveled from Northern Ireland to Dublin, where it took a ferry to Holyhead in Wales before picking up the trailer at the dockside in England. Authorities say they have no idea how long the container was in Belgium. The truck was registered in Bulgaria to a company owned by an Irish citizen, but its point of origin was unclear. The trailer was leased this month in Ireland, a company said Thursday. Chinese embassy employees were on their way to help in the investigation.

(Read more United Kingdom stories.)

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