Screams As 35 Sick Migrants Found In Container


Police say the death of a man found with more than 30 people in a container at Tilbury Docks is being investigated as “homicide”1:05pm UK, Saturday 16 August 2014

A dead man was among 35 immigrants found in a container at Tilbury Docks after crew were alerted by “banging and screaming”.

Police have launched a “homicide” investigation after the man was discovered with 34 sick children and adults hiding in a container on a P&O ferry.

Container death at Tilbury Docks
Police at the scene in Tilbury Docks
At least seven of those treated at three different hospitals with “significant health problems” were children.

At a press conference at Tilbury Docks, Essex Superintendent Trevor Roe said the man’s death was being treated as a crime.

Seven ambulances were sent to the scene and Basildon Hospital said on its Twitter feed that it was “responding to a major incident”.

The East of England Ambulance service confirmed a hazardous area response team had also been sent to the scene.

Eighteen patients were taken to Basildon Hospital, nine to London Whitechapel Hospital and seven to Southend Hospital.

Some were suffering from severe dehydration and hypothermia.

A police officer at the scene said they are still trying to determine the nationalities of those involved but they are believed to be of Indian origin, possibly Punjab.

Essex Police were called after the people were found on the container, which arrived on a ship from Zeebrugge in Belgium and was being unloaded at 7.35am.

Natalie Hardy, from P&O Ferries, said the immigrants were in a container on board the Norstream, a commercial vessel.

She said the ship was scheduled to leave Zeebrugge last night at 10pm and arrive at Tilbury today at 6am.

It was carrying 64 containers, 72 trailers and five lorries and drivers.

The suspected immigrants were found at Tilbury Docks
Ms Hardy said: “They (port authorities) found 35 clandestines on a container in the ferry.

“They had been in there overnight, because the ship was an overnight freight ferry.

“This morning when they went to unload containers there was a noise heard, a banging. One unfortunately was dead and others were taken to hospital.”

A spokeswoman for Public Health England said it was not involved in the response to, investigation of or anything to do with the incident at Tilbury Docks.

modern slavery bill publishedShe said: “If it was ebola, health care professionals are so alert at the moment to signs and symptoms that should there have been anyone who was showing symptoms we would have been notified immediately.

“I think we can be confident that we are not dealing with that.”

Police are dealing with the incident alongside staff from Port of Tilbury, UK Border Force and the East of England Ambulance Service, the spokesman said.


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