Among the 39 Vietnamese victims found dead in a U.K. container truck last month were 10 teenagers, police said.
Vietnamese and U.K. authorities on Friday released the identities of all 39 people found dead in a refrigerated truck in the U.K. last month.
Nghe An Province is home to the majority of the victims with 21 natives perishing in the truck, followed by neighboring Ha Tinh Province with 10.
The northern port city of Hai Phong and the central province of Quang Binh lost three residents each, while the remaining two victims came from the central province of Thua Thien-Hue and the northern province of Hai Duong.
According to police in Essex, where the truck was found, two children aged 15 and one aged 17 were among the victims.
31 of the victims were male and eight were female. For the full list of the 39 victims, click here.
“Our priority has been to identify the victims, to preserve the dignity of those who have died and to support the victims’ friends and families. It remained of paramount importance to us to ensure that an individual’s next of kin were informed and that they were given some time to absorb this tragic news before we publicly confirmed their loved one’s identity,” Essex Police said.
Following confirmation that the truck victims were Vietnamese, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had sent his condolences to the families of the victims on Thursday.
“This is not only a painful incident for the families of the deceased, but also for the whole community, for each Vietnamese and every citizen of this world,” he said.
In his address to the National Assembly on Friday, Phuc also emphasized that the tragedy must not be repeated and that the country needs to act so that its citizens can prosper in their homeland.
Leaders of Nghe An’s Dien Chau, Yen Thanh, Nghi Loc and Hung Nguyen districts, as well as the towns of Cua Lo and Vinh called on the families of the province’s 21 victims Friday to offer their condolences.
Ha Tinh’s Party Committee Secretary Le Dinh Son has also sent a letter of condolence to the families of the province’s victims. Son said provincial authorities were actively assisting the families in repatriating the bodies of their loved ones.
On October 23, U.K. emergency services discovered the bodies of 39 people in a refrigerated container truck at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, Essex County, east of London.
Officials from Vietnam’s Ministries of Public Security and Foreign Affairs came to the U.K. last weekend to facilitate the identification of the victims after Essex police said they believed the victims were all Vietnamese.
They said the return of the bodies will depend on the U.K.’s process in handling the case. British police have charged two men with manslaughter as well as human trafficking and immigration offenses, and a trial is expected soon.
Vietnam police have arrested 11 suspects from Nghe An and Ha Tinh for involvement in human trafficking.