Vietnamese teenagers among victims who died in truck trailer in Britain

Police released more details on the 39 people who died in a refrigerated truck trailer in Essex, Britain last month, including that 10 of the migrants were teenagers.

British police identified the 39 Vietnamese nationals who died in the truck trailer Friday. That included 10 teenagers. Photo by Vickie Flores

All the victims were confirmed to be Vietnamese nationals. The youngest victim was 15 years old and the oldest was 44 years old. Authorities used DNA to identify the victims.

The bodies were found in an industrial park on Oct. 23. Several arrests have been made in Britain, Northern Ireland and Vietnam in connection with the deaths.

“This was an incredibly important process and our team has been working hard to bring answers to worried families who fear their loved one may be among those whose tragic journey ended on our shores,” Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith said in a statement. “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.”


Authorities released the names of all the victims after relatives were notified. The British government is working on a plan to bring the bodies back to Vietnam and to their families.

The trailer containing the 39 victims came to Britain from Belgium but its path before that is less clear.

The truck driver Maurice Robinson, 25, of Craigavon, Northern Ireland, was charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people and money laundering. He will appear in court Nov. 14.


Extradition proceedings are ongoing for another suspect, Eamon Harrison, 22, from Mayobridge, Northern Ireland. He’s been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, human traffic and immigration offenses.

Police also want to question brothers Ronan and Christopher Hughes from County Armagh, Northern Ireland. Several others were arrested in Vietnam.