Police officers work at the scene where 39 bodies were found in a shipping container at Waterglade Industrial Park in Essex, Britain, on Oct. 23, 2019. The bodies of 39 people were found Wednesday in a shipping container at an industrial park in Essex, the county bordering London, police confirmed. (Photo by Ray Tang/Xinhua)
The bodies of 39 people were found Wednesday in a shipping container at an industrial park in Essex, the county bordering London, police confirmed.
In a statement, Essex police said early indications suggest 38 of the dead are adults and one is believed to be a teenager.
A spokesperson for the police force said: "Officers were called by ambulance paramedics around 1: 40 a.m. local time (0040 GMT) following the discovery of a truck container with people inside at Waterglade Industrial Park in Eastern Avenue, Grays, around 38 kilometers east of central London."
"Emergency services arrived but sadly, 39 people were pronounced dead at the scene," said a police statement.
The lorry driver, a 25-year-old-man from Northern Ireland, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently under investigation.
Police 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."
Police believe the truck is from Bulgaria and entered the country at Holyhead, Wale, on Oct. 19.
Police offices have thrown a cordon around the industrial estate while investigations continue, preventing any access to the area.
In a statement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was appalled by this tragic incident in Essex.
"I am receiving regular updates from the Home Office and will work closely with Essex Police as we establish exactly what has happened. My thoughts are with all those who lost their lives and their loved ones," he said.