Migrants take turns to peek through a hole in the side of a lorry ‘to get air’ after tearing through the vehicle’s canopy as it travelled on the M25
- Two apparent male migrants were pictured peeking out through a lorry’s canopy
- Comes in the same week that 39 migrants were found dead in the back of a truck
- The photo appears to show the men taking in their surroundings as one pushes an arm out of the lorry and the other perches his hands on the canopy’s frame
Two men who appear to be migrants have been photographed peeking through a hole in the side of a lorry’s canopy as it travelled on the M25.
The photograph, taken in the same week 39 migrants from China and Vietnam died in the back of a lorry entering the UK, appears to show the extent of the crisis facing British border officials.
The extraordinary photo shows the two men taking in their new surroundings as one pushes an arm outside of the vehicle while the other perches his hands on the frame of the canopy. Both were seen looking out and waving at other cars as they passed.
The photograph, taken in the same week 39 migrants from China and Vietnam died in the back of a lorry entering the UK, appears to show the extent of the crisis facing British border officials faced with unprecedented levels of migration
Police on Sunday were examining the photographs taken near Heathrow airport.
The driver who took the images told the Mirror: ‘It was in the middle of the day last Wednesday, just before the turn-off for the M40.
‘It was a strange sight. It was hard to tell how many were inside, but it looked like they were crammed in tight.’
Migrants are regularly picked up having fled lorries at service areas on the M25, Britain’s busiest motorway which services the Home Counties.
Cobham Services in Surrey has seen a spate of incidents. In a single year some 117 people were arrested there on suspicion of immigration offences.
Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills speaks to the media during a press conference at Grays Police Station in Essex Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, after a man and a woman, both aged 38 and from Warrington, have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people in connection with the 39 bodies found in a lorry in Essex on Wednesday
On Wednesday, 39 victims’ bodies were found in the back of a lorry in Grays, Essex sparking a national outcry.
All of the victims have now been moved from the truck in Tilbury Docks to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, for post-mortem examinations to be carried out.
It is said police have begun looking through bags and mobile phones belonging to the migrants.
The belongings form part of more than 500 pieces of evidence that Essex Police are sifting through in a bid to identify the victims.
It was initially believed the victims were all Chinese nationals, but Vietnamese men and women are now feared to be among the dead.
Vietnamese ambassador to the UK, Tran Ngoc An, spoke to Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday night before meeting investigators from the National Crime Agency and Essex Police.
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore told reporters on Saturday that the ambassador had visited the Civic Centre in Grays to pay tribute to the victims.
The couple’s three cars were today still on the driveway (pictured, police remain at the property)
DCI Pasmore said the nationality of the victims is not yet known, but the focus is now on the Vietnamese community – although ‘there may be other nationalities involved’.
He said there were ‘very, very few’ identity documents recovered and that police will share fingerprints with Vietnamese authorities in a bid to identify the bodies.
Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said she would give no more details about the nationalities of the victims until formal identification had taken place.
Police have charged truck driver Maurice Robinson with 39 counts of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people in connection with the deaths.
Robinson, 25, of Craigavon, Northern Ireland is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Monday.
He was the first of those arrested to be charged in what is seen as one of the U.K.’s biggest cases of people smuggling.
Four others have been arrested in the case. U.K. police are struggling to identify the victims, who are believed to have come from Asia, and autopsies are being performed.
The Vietnamese Embassy in London has set up a hotline for families to call about missing family members.