Gardaí believe tragic container came in from continent to the UK while lorry came through Dublin Port

Detectives believe the truck entered the UK three days ago via Holyhead in north Wales. Gardai believe the container came in from the continent to the UK. From there it travelled through the UK to the industrial estate in Essex were it was found.

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The victims, including a teenager, were found at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays early today. A 25-year-old lorry driver from Northern Ireland has been arrested, Essex Police says. Gardai are investigating the route of the truck.

They haven't received a formal request for assistance but are carrying out their own inquiries into the route the lorry may have taken. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dail today that the deaths were a "tragedy" and promised to "carry out any investigations that are necessary if it's established the truck passed through Ireland".

Garda immigration officers at Dublin Port, which is thought to have been used by the lorry in which 39 bodies have been found on an industrial estate in Essex Gardaí believe tragic container came in from continent to the UK while lorry came through Dublin Port Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to play Tap to playThe video will start in 8Cancel

The crime scene is just a short distance from intu Lakeside shopping centre and the M25 Dartford Crossing. Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett container appeared to be a refrigerated unit and described conditions for anyone inside as "absolutely horrendous".

Temperatures in such units can be as low as -25C if frozen products are being transported, causing humans to "lose their lives pretty quickly", he said. He went on: "It's going to be dark. If the fridge is running it's going to be incredibly cold.

Gardaí believe tragic container came in from continent to the UK while lorry came through Dublin Port

"The only place to go to the toilet is on board the back of the trailer.

You can imagine if they've been in there for days then there will be faeces, there will be urine." A forensic tent has been set up alongside a huge white lorry, which has a red cab at the front. The HGV has six large lights in the top of its cabin and red wing mirrors.

One of the doors to the lorry's front cabin is open, and several police cars are parked alongside the vehicle. Another green board, along with a black tent, has been put up by police to the rear of the lorry's container.

Gardaí believe tragic container came in from continent to the UK while lorry came through Dublin Port

Three police cars are also stationed outside the cordon. Two officers have been seen manning a boarded off section of road with green barriers erected to stop traffic. 

At a press conference at Grays police station, deputy chief constable Pippa Mills said officers were unable to identify the bodies. She said: "Please appreciate we are in the early stages of what is likely to be a lengthy investigation. "This is an absolute tragedy and very sad day for Essex police and the community.

"We will continue to work alongside many other partner agencies to find out what led to these deaths. "I would like to appeal to anyone who has any information to contact my officers at the major investigations team."

Gardaí believe tragic container came in from continent to the UK while lorry came through Dublin Port

Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner previously 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. 

Gardaí believe tragic container came in from continent to the UK while lorry came through Dublin Port

"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." Bulgaria's foreign ministry said it could not confirm whether the truck had started its journey from the country. "We are still checking the information, published in the British media and we're contacting the authorities," foreign ministry spokeswoman Tsvetana Krasteva said.

In a tweet published shortly before 10.30am Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "I'm appalled by this tragic incident in Essex. "I am receiving regular updates from the Home Office & will work closely with Essex Police as we establish exactly what has happened. My thoughts are with all those who lost their lives & their loved ones."

Glen Freeland, from GSF Car Parts which is close to where the bodies were found, said staff could not access the shop on Eastern Avenue on Wednesday morning. "The manager went to get into work this morning and it was cordoned off and we've been moved to a different area," Mr Freeland said. "All we know is they found the bodies in the back of a lorry.

Gardaí believe tragic container came in from continent to the UK while lorry came through Dublin Port

"It was a bit of a shock but we're not 100 per cent sure of what's happened."

A restaurant worker in the industrial estate, who did not want to be named, said: "There's a lot of police and forensics. "We've just seen what has been said online. It's awful.

"We thought maybe someone had broken into a lorry, but it's just awful." Paige Wade was driving past the industrial park at 4.15am on the way home from work. She told the PA news agency: "I honestly didn't see much, I had just finished work while driving up Motherwell Way and all you could see was blue flashing lights, as I was driving past there was police tape to cordon off the start of eastern avenue.

Gardaí believe tragic container came in from continent to the UK while lorry came through Dublin Port

"I knew it was serious because of how many police cars and ambulances were there, but the police had parked their cars across the whole access of the road so you couldn't see anything.

"There's always lorries around there as they park up there for the night, I couldn't say whether I did or didn't see the actual lorry in question." A cordon has been put in place and access to and from the Waterglade Industrial Park remains closed. Nine police cars and fifteen police officers have been stationed at the scene, which is close to the shopping location Lakeside.

Charlie Duggins-Jones described travelling past the scene on the way to work this morning. "When I saw that the road wasn't just closed off to access, but curtained off from view, I knew it would be something bad, but not this awful," he said.

Gardaí believe tragic container came in from continent to the UK while lorry came through Dublin Port

"It's incredibly shocking being so close to where you work, our whole industrial site is talking about it! "It's the last thing you expect to find when you come to work in the morning."

A statement regarding the discovery will be delivered by DCC Pippa Mills at Grays Police Station at 11.30am this morning. Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: "Shocked & saddened by this utterly tragic incident in Grays.  "Essex Police has arrested an individual and we must give them the space to conduct their investigations."

Jackie Doyle-Price, MP for Thurrock, described tweeted her fury at the deaths. "Sickening news of 39 people found dead in a container in Grays," she wrote. "People trafficking is a vile and dangerous business.

This is a big investigation for @EssexPoliceUK Lets hope they bring these murderers to justice."

Gardaí believe tragic container came in from continent to the UK while lorry came through Dublin Port

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