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Police detain 52 suspected migrants, including five children, at the Dartford crossing and in Canterbury

By Lizzie Massey

A total of 52 suspected migrants are being held after two lorries were stopped in different parts of Kent today.

Emergency crews and an air ambulance rushed to the headquarters of a fruit importer following the discovery of 26 suspected illegal immigrants in the back of a refrigerated lorry.

Six patrol cars, three paramedic crews and the helicopter descended on the distribution centre of Gomez Ltd in Bridge, near Canterbury, shortly before 11.30am.

VIDEO: Suspected migrants were found near Canterbury. Credit: Steve Parmenter

Police detained 26 people after the raid in Canterbury
Police detained 26 people after the raid in Canterbury

The migrants – 24 men, one woman and a boy – were found in the back of a Romanian-registered HGV carrying £25,000 worth of peppers.

It had been travelling to the UK from Spain, but it is not clear where or when the immigrants – who are of Middle Eastern or North African appearance - got into the truck.

The woman is said to have collapsed and has been taken to hospital, while one of the men is understood to have a leg injury.

The Canterbury lorry contained several immigrants, including children
The Canterbury lorry contained several immigrants, including children
The inside of the Canterbury lorry
The inside of the Canterbury lorry

But, in a separate incident, 26 people - including five children - were detained after they were discovered huddled in the back of a lorry at Dartford.

Kent Police were called out to reports migrants had been taken through the county to the crossing.

Officers discovered the lorry in Bridge Close, Dartford. When they opened it up the adults and children poured out of the cramped conditions.

26 migrants detained near Dartford Crossing after being found inside a lorry
26 migrants detained near Dartford Crossing after being found inside a lorry

They have now been handed into the care of Home Office immigration enforcement.

A spokeswoman for Kent Police said: "Kent Police was called to a report that suspected migrants had been found in the back of a lorry in Bridge Close, Dartford, at 9.18am on Monday 21 March, 2016.

"It was reported that there were 26 people in the lorry, 21 adults and five children."

Click for more on the Canterbury incident.

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