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Smuggled migrants die in truck container

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 10/24/19, 02:07 pm

The 39 people first responders found dead in a refrigerated truck were Chinese citizens, British officials confirmed Thursday. Authorities found the container with 31 men and eight women on Wednesday in an Industrial Park in Grays, England, 25 miles east of London. The Belgian federal prosecutor launched an investigation on Thursday.

How did they get there? Belgium confirmed the container departed its port city of Zeebrugge before crossing into the English town of Purfleet. British officials have raided three sites in Northern Ireland, where they said the truck that carried the container originated. They are investigating the truck driver on suspicion of attempted murder. Migrant arrivals en route to the United Kingdom spiked in northern Belgium recently after French authorities ramped up controls at the northern border city of Calais.

Dig deeper: Read Rob Holmes 2016 report on how Calais spurred migrant tensions between France and Britain.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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