Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

Essex lorry deaths: UK authorities say 10 teenagers among 39 deceased

Police said two of the victims were only 15-years-old

Prime Minister Boris Johnson lays flowers in Essex. Reuters
Prime Minister Boris Johnson lays flowers in Essex. Reuters

British police said on Friday that 10 teenagers, including two 15-year-old boys, were among the 39 people from Vietnam found dead in the back of a lorry in southeast England last month

Authorities confirmed they had identified the deceased and informed their families in a human trafficking case that shocked the UK. The oldest person who died was 44.

“This was an incredibly important process and our team has been working hard to bring answers to worried families who fear their loved one may be among those whose tragic journey ended on our shores,” said Tim Smith, the senior police officer in charge of the enquiry.

“Our priority has been to identify the victims, to preserve the dignity of those who have died and to support the victims’ friends and families.

“It remained of paramount importance to us to ensure that an individual’s next of kin were informed, and that they were given some time to absorb this tragic news before we publicly confirmed their loved one’s identity,” he said.

The bodies were found on October 23 in the container of a lorry in Essex, not far from London, having arrived at a nearby port from Belgium.

The lorry’s driver, 25-year-old Maurice Robinson, has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.

Updated: November 8, 2019 06:34 PM

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