ESSEX POLICE have released details of the harrowing phone call a lorry driver made after discovering 39 dead migrants in the containing he was transporting.
"There's loads of them ... they're all lying on the ground," Mo Robinson, from Co. Armagh, told police.
He made the call after parking up in an industrial estate - some 23 minutes after finding the bodies.
The 26-year-old said: "I went and lifted a trailer from Purfleet, the freight terminal, and I got around to where I was gonna park up for the night and I heard a noise in the back and I opened the door and there's a bunch of them lying."
When asked how many people were involved, Robinson said: "The trailer is jammed. I don't know."
Police: Hello caller is the patient breathing?
Robinson: Er no, I'm a lorry driver and I just lifted a trailer from the port.
Police: Okay is the patient breathing?
Robinson: There's loads of them, there's immigrants in the back but they're all lying on the ground.
Police: Okay are they breathing?
Robinson: I don't think so.
Police: They're not breathing?
Robinson: I don't think so, no.
Police: Okay, can you tell me exactly what's happened?
Robinson: I went and lifted a trailer from Purfleet, the freight terminal. And I got round to where I was going park up for the night and I heard the noise in the back and I opened the door and there's a bunch of them lying.
Police: How many approximately?
Robinson: Uh, the trailer is jammed, er I don't know.
Police: Tell me approximately how many patients?
Robinson: Er 20, 25?
Police: 25 patients not breathing?
Robinson: Yeah, yeah
The incident occurred in Grays, Essex on October 23, 2019.
The migrants inside, all of whom originated from Vietnam, had suffocated to death in the container as it was transported from Zeebrugge in Belgium to the UK.
It's understood that the victims desperately pleaded for the driver to "open up, open up," as temperatures reaching around 38C (101F) inside the container.
Robinson, who picked up the tailer in Essex, is understood to have made several phone calls to others involved in the people-trafficking scheme and drove the lorry in a loop around the industrial area, before eventually contacting authorities.