Essex, 39 Vietnamese migrants died in refrigerator truck from hypoxia and hyperthermia

British police publish provisional autopsy results. Prosecutors make two more arrests. The truck of the tragedy had entered the United Kingdom on board a ferry from Belgium. "Anyone who was aware of the trafficking has crucial information to help the investigation."


London (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The 39 Vietnamese migrants, found dead on 23 October in a refrigerated trailer in Essex county (east of London), lost their lives due to lack of oxygen and hyperthermia report British police, citing the provisional results of the autopsies.

“All postmortem examinations have now been completed and we await the final reports for all 39 victims,” Essex police said in a statement.

“The provisional cause of death for those in the lorry was a combination of hypoxia [lack of oxygen] and hyperthermia [overheating] in an enclosed space". Essex police also report having made two more arrests in connection with the case.

The refrigerated truck at the center of the tragedy had entered the United Kingdom on board a ferry from Belgium. Investigators are looking into two journeys similar to the one in which the 39 Vietnamese died between 11 and 18 October 2019. "We believe that the articulated lorries have been used to facilitate the illegal entry of people into the country through the port of Purfleet (in Essex). We are convinced that anyone who knew about trafficking has crucial information to help our investigation. "

Three days ago, a 22-year-old man was arrested in Northern Ireland on charges of manslaughter and aiding illegal immigration. Meanwhile Gheorghe Nica, a 43-year-old from Essex, was arrested at Frankfurt airport on 29 January, thanks to a European arrest warrant. The man is accused of the manslaughter of 39 people. Truck driver Maurice Robinson, 25, from Craigavon ​​(Northern Ireland), is awaiting trial for the same number of manslaughter charges. In a hearing last November, the young man admitted that he had conspired to promote illegal immigration. A second Northern Irish truck driver, 23-year-old Eamonn Harrison, will be extradited from the Republic of Ireland this week.