Published: 16:05, 08 November 2019
| Updated: 17:23, 08 November 2019
The names of the 39 Vietnamese migrants found dead in the back of a refrigerated lorry have been revealed.
It comes after the victims, found inside the trailer near the Dartford Crossing, were formally identified by the police.
The bodies were discovered aboard a container, which travelled from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Grays, Essex on Wednesday, October 23.
It has now been revealed teenagers were among those dead with 10 of those named by Essex Police under the age of 20.
All of the victims came from provinces in the north of Vietnam.
The youngest two victims were aged just 15, and the oldest a 44-year-old man from Dien Chau.
Formal identification was undertaken by an Identification Commission and overseen by Senior Coroner for Essex, Mrs Caroline Beasley-Murray.
She said: “May I take this opportunity to offer my deepest condolences to the victims’ families.
"My thoughts are with them at this unimaginably difficult time.
The senior officer in overall charge of the enquiry, assistant chief constable Tim Smith praised his teams efforts to "bring answers" to the families of those "whose tragic journey ended on our shores".
He said: “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.
“We have worked closely with the National Crime Agency, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Vietnamese Authorities to identify and locate their families."
Two Northern Irish men have been charged after the bodies were found near the Crossing.
Maurice 'Mo' Robinson, 25, from Craigavon was charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, money laundering and conspiracy to traffic people and assist unlawful immigration.
He drove the lorry into Essex and is next due to appear at the Old Bailey on Monday, November 25
Eamon Harrison, 22, from Mayobridge, County Down, appeared in court on Friday also charged with 39 counts of manslaughter.
He is believed to have delivered the lorry container to Zeebrugge and is accused of conspiracy to commit human trafficking and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.
The incident has lead to some MPs from the Foreign Affairs Committee calling on the Government to rethink its approach to legal immigration.
Tonbridge and Malling's Tom Tugendhat, who is chairman of the committee, said it was a "wake up call".
“The case of 39 people found dead in a lorry in Essex shocked us all.
"Hundreds of families across the world are losing loved ones who felt driven to take the fatal gamble to entrust their lives to smugglers," he said.
“The UK has been relatively isolated from the different migrant crises in recent years – but it’s wrong to assume that we are protected from their impact."
Eight more people have been arrested in Vietnam.
The extra arrests, reported by the Vietnam News Agency, comes after Essex Police confirmed they had spoken to one of two suspects, who are on the run, over the phone.
Ronan Hughes, 40, and his brother Christopher, 34, both from Armagh in Northern Ireland, are being hunted by police on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking and are thought to have links to the Irish Republic.
If you have any information about the case contact police on101 or online at: https://mipp.police.uk
The victims are:
More by this authorSean Delaney