Essex lorry deaths: 39 victims are all Chinese nationals - according to reports

Essex lorry deaths: 39 victims are all Chinese nationals - according to reports

THE 39 victims found in a container on the back of a lorry in Essex are believed to have all been Chinese nationals, according to reports.

The gruesome discovery was made around 1.30am on Wednesday morning and the driver, 25-year-old Mo Robinson from Northern Ireland, was taken in for questioning by police.

However, reports now suggest he's been released without charge.

Speculation has been mounting surrounding the identity of the 39 victims, and it now appears that all of the victims, including one teenager, are Chinese nationals.

The story echoes the tragedy in 2000 where 58 Chinese nationals were found dead in a Dutch lorry in Dover.

Police in Northern Ireland are now investigating the possibility of links to Irish smuggling gangs, and they've reportedly raided two homes in Co. Armagh.

The trailer of the lorry reportedly arrived in the UK from Zeebrugge in Belgium, while it's believed that the cab of the vehicle came from Northern Ireland via Dublin.

Ambulance staff discovered the 39 bodies after apparently being contacted by the driver himself, from the village of Laurelvale, Co. Armagh, early on Wednesday morning.

Councillor Paul Berry said the people of Laurelvale, where the Robinson family live, was in "complete shock," according to the Belfast Telegraph.

Mr Berry, who has been in contact with Mr Robinson's father several times, said he learned of his son's arrest through social media.

"He had said he had been getting messages via people on social media on what was happening and at that stage it was not confirmed to him or his family that his son had been arrested," said Berry.

"In the local area the feeling is one of complete shock and hope this is not a true story in terms of his involvement."