Survivors found in container at UK port
August 18, 2014, 12:02 am TWN
TILBURY, United Kingdom--One man was found dead and 34 others still alive in a shipping container on Saturday after staff at a British port heard banging and screaming coming from inside.
The men, women and children, all believed to be from the Indian subcontinent, were discovered inside the container at Tilbury Docks, east of London, on a ship that came from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.
All the survivors were taken to nearby hospitals; two were in a serious but not life-threatening condition, while the others were suffering from dehydration and hypothermia.
Cases of immigrants trying to enter Britain illegally, often in dangerous circumstances, are not rare.
The local police have vowed to bring to justice anyone involved in putting the people in the container, whilst the local lawmaker said the authorities needed to understand what was motivating people to go to such lengths to reach Britain.
Because a body was found, Essex Police has launched a homicide investigation.
Of 64 containers aboard the P&O ship that arrived early Saturday, police have opened 30 so far to check for any other people.
"Staff here at the port became aware of screaming and banging coming from a container," police superintendent Trevor Roe told reporters.
"As a result of that noise, staff were alerted and immediately breached the container to find 35 persons within that unit.
"We believe them to come from the Indian subcontinent."
Roe revealed that the survivors were recovering "fairly quickly in most cases" at nearby hospitals.
P and O Ferries said the container arrived on the quay in Zeebrugge around an hour before it was loaded onto the ferry. Two hours later, the ship began the eight-hour overnight crossing. The people were discovered on the ship's arrival in Tilbury.