THIRTY-NINE bodies have been found in a container on the back of lorry in Thurrock, Essex as police launch one of the biggest murder probes in British history.
It's understood that the lorry has arrived in the UK via Holyhead in Wales on Saturday, having arrived from Bulgaria, and was driven by a 25-year-old Northern Irishman, who has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
The grizzly discovery was made around 1.30am on Wednesday morning at Waterglade Industrial Park, Eastern Avenue, Grays.
Early reports suggest that of the 39 bodies, 38 are adults and one is a teenager.
It isn't clear at the moment whether the victims died inside the vehicle due to suffocation or whether they were already dead prior to the lorry making its journey. It's also unclear as to whether the Northern Irish driver was aware of what was inside the container.
The nationalities of the victims are also currently unconfirmed.
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.
"We believe the lorry is from Bulgaria and entered the country at Holyhead on Saturday 19 October and we are working closely with our partners to investigate.
"We have arrested the lorry driver in connection with the incident who remains in police custody as our enquiries continue."
While investigations are still being carried out, Watergate Industrial Park has been temporarily closed.
More to follow...