Essex

Grays migrant lorry deaths 'tragedy on a large scale'

lorry Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The bodies of 39 Vietnamese nationals were discovered in a refrigerated trailer

The deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants whose bodies were found in a lorry on an industrial park were "a tragedy on a large scale", a coroner has said.

The 31 males and eight females were discovered in a refrigerated trailer in the early hours of 23 October in Grays, Essex.

Essex Coroner's Court heard they had all died from asphyxia and hyperthermia.

Area coroner Lincoln Brookes adjourned the inquests while criminal proceedings take place.

Essex Police has made several arrests, including that of lorry driver Maurice Robinson, from County Armagh, Northern Ireland.

He faces 39 counts of manslaughter among other offences.

Coroner's officer Nick Hale took more than five minutes to read the full list of the names of the deceased.

Image caption Pham Thi Tra My, 26, and Nguyen Dinh Luong, 20, were among the victims

A Vietnamese interpreter had been arranged to "provide dignity for the deceased" but was unable to attend due to being in self-isolation as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Hale told the court Essex Police had been called at 01:38 GMT to Waterglade Industrial Park where they "found 39 people unresponsive".

Mr Brookes said he was required to adjourn the inquest while legal proceedings were ongoing.

"This is my first opportunity to express my deep condolences to the families of these 39 individuals," he added.

"It is not only in any view a tragedy on a large scale but also a personal tragedy to each of the deceased's families."

Inquests were opened into the deaths of:

Pham Thi Tra My, 26-year-old woman from Ha Tinh

Nguyen Dinh Luong, 20-year-old man from Ha Tinh

Nguyen Huy Phong, 35-year-old man from Ha Tinh

Vo Nhan Du, 19-year-old man from Ha Tinh

Tran Manh Hung, 37-year-old man from Ha Tinh

Tran Khanh Tho, 18-year-old man from Ha Tinh

Vo Van Linh, 25-year-old man from Ha Tinh

Nguyen Van Nhan, 33-year-old man from Ha Tinh

Bui Phan Thang, 37-year-old man from Ha Tinh

Nguyen Huy Hung, 15-year-old boy from Ha Tinh

Tran Thi Tho, 21-year-old woman from Nghe An

Bui Thi Nhung, 19-year-old woman from Nghe An

Vo Ngoc Nam, 28-year-old man from Nghe An

Nguyen Dinh Tu, 26-year-old man from Nghe An

Le Van Ha, 30-year-old man from Nghe An

Tran Thi Ngoc, 19-year-old woman from Nghe An

Nguyen Van Hung, 33-year-old man from Nghe An

Hoang Van Tiep, 18-year-old man from Nghe An

Cao Tien Dung, 37-year-old man from Nghe An

Cao Huy Thanh, 37-year-old man from Nghe An

Tran Thi Mai Nhung, 18-year-old woman from Nghe An

Nguyen Minh Quang, 20-year-old man from Nghe An

Le Trong Thanh, 44-year-old man from Dien Chau

Pham Thi Ngoc Oanh, 28-year-old woman from Nghe An

Hoang Van Hoi, 24-year-old man from Nghe An

Nguyen Tho Tuan, 25-year-old man from Nghe An

Dang Huu Tuyen, 22-year-old man from Nghe An

Nguyen Trong Thai, 26-year-old man from Nghe An

Nguyen Van Hiep, 24-year-old man from Nghe An

Nguyen Thi Van, 35-year-old woman from Nghe An

Tran Hai Loc, 35-year-old man from Nghe An

Duong Minh Tuan, 27-year-old man from Quang Binh

Nguyen Ngoc Ha, 32-year-old man from Quang Binh

Nguyen Tien Dung, 33-year-old man from Quang, Binh

Phan Thi Thanh, 41-year-old woman from Hai Phong

Nguyen Ba Vu Hung, 31-year-old man from Thua Tien Hue

Dinh Dinh Thai Quyen, 18-year-old man from Hai Phong

Tran Ngoc Hieu, 17-year-old boy from Hai Duong

Dinh Dinh Binh, 15-year-old boy from Hai Phong

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