ESSEX Police has launched a murder investigation after the bodies of 39 people were found inside a lorry container in Grays.
We were called by colleagues from the ambulance service shortly before 1.40am this morning Wednesday 23 October following the discovery of a lorry container with people inside at Waterglade Industrial Park, Eastern Avenue, Grays.
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.
A 25-year-old-man from Northern Ireland has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
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.”
A cordon has been put in place and access to and from the Waterglade Industrial Park remains closed.