Saturday, August 16, 2014

Murder probe after illegal immigrants found in Tilbury docks

A dead man was among 35 immigrants found in a container at Tilbury Docks early this morning [Saturday 16/08/2014] after "banging and screaming" alerted the crew.

"homicide" investigation

And now Essex police have launched a "homicide" investigation following the discovery.

The man was discovered with 34 sick children and adults hiding in a container on a P&O ferry. The Norstream, a Dutch registered cargo vessel, had departed Zeebrugge in Belgium at 21:44 on Friday [15th August] and arrived at Tilbury shortly after 05:00 on Saturday.


Some of the immigrants, believed to be of Indian origin, were suffering from severe dehydration and hypothermia. Amongst the group were 7 children. Seven ambulances were sent to the scene and removed them to various local hospitals. Eighteen patients were taken to Basildon Hospital, nine to London Whitechapel Hospital and seven to Southend Hospital.

The roll-on roll-off ferry was carrying 64 containers, 72 trailers and five lorries and drivers and police spent much of the day checking that other containers did not harbour any other illegal immigrants.

Police were called to the scene after the people were discovered as the containers were being unloaded at 07:35 by Port of Tilbury authorities.

"People trafficking"

At a press conference on Saturday afternoon Superintendent Roe described those discovered in the container as victims of "people trafficking". He said they had been in the container a "significant amount of time" and that now police were working with international agencies to establish their movements prior to arriving in the UK.

South Basildon and East Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe described the incident as "tragic". Speaking to the BBC he said, "The fact that so many people appear to have travelled so far and are so desperate to get into the UK - either on their own or being trafficked is really very sad."

The Conservative MP said it was important "to get to the root causes of what is motivating people to go to such extreme lengths to travel from other parts of the world to get into the UK" and tackle people-trafficking.

[Sky News / BBC / Daily Mail / Mirror / Express / Telegraph / Guardian / Independent]

tvnewswatch, Tilbury, Essex

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