One day after finding 39 bodies in a truck trailer near London, investigators searched two homes in Northern Ireland - the country of origin of the truck driver. This is reported by British media. There is no official confirmation for it, nor is it for the cause of death of the 38 adults and a teenager. The reports say they froze in the truck's hold. The semitrailer is therefore a refrigerated container.
By the night of Wednesday, the Bulgarian flagged truck had been discovered in an industrial estate in Grays, east of London. The driver, a 25-year-old from Northern Ireland, was arrested on suspicion of murder. According to Essex police chief Andrew Mariner, it will be a long time before the bodies are identified. According to the media reports, they are trafficked migrants. It is unclear whether the truck driver even knew that the people were in the trailer.
About Belgium to England
According to police, the trailer had been transported by ship from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge in the English Purfleet and arrived there early Wednesday morning. According to previous investigations, the container was apparently shipped half an hour past midnight from the ship ashore and coupled there to the - apparently from Northern Ireland - tractor unit. The team left the harbor shortly after 1 o'clock. Paramedics had finally informed the police about 1:40 clock on the body finding in the truck, it said. Who had alerted the emergency services, is not known.
The truck was registered since 2007 in the Bulgarian port of Varna on the Black Sea, as Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissow said. Since then, the vehicle has not been in the country. According to a Bulgarian freight association, this is not uncommon for tax reasons.
British PM Boris Johnson promised via Twitter that the Home Office would work closely with the Essex police to find out "what happened". He told Parliament that smugglers would be prosecuted. "All such traffickers should be hunted down and held accountable," Johnson said.
Every year, thousands of migrants are illegally brought to the UK, mostly in trucks or by ships and boats. Twenty-nine years ago, police found 58 dead Chinese in a truck trailer in the English port of Dover on the English Channel.
Only hours after the finding in the county of Essex, the police stopped according to media reports in neighboring Kent a truck with nine migrants in the hold. The truck was traveling on the highway towards London when the police were alerted on Wednesday afternoon. A spokesman told Sky News that people would be medically examined and transferred to the immigration authorities.