British police say 39 bodies were discovered early this morning in a truck container in southeastern England. The driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
In a statement, Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner of Essex Police said, “We are in the process of identifying the victims, however I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process.”
Mariner said police believe the truck is from Bulgaria, a member of the European Union, and entered the U.K. on Saturday at Holyhead, on the River Thames. The truck was found in the Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays. Police were called to the scene by medical personnel at 1:40 a.m. (8:40 p.m. ET).
According to the police statement, 38 of the bodies appear to be adults and one a teenager. No further details were given.
NPR’s Frank Langfitt in London reports for our Newscast unit:
“The United Kingdom remains an attractive destination for migrants. Earlier this week, the U.K. border force picked up a group of 13 men, women and children trying to cross the English Channel in a small boat.”