Essex lorry deaths: Memorial for 39 Vietnamese migrants

Related Topics
Image source, Kirsty O'Connor / PA Wire
Image caption,
The names of those who died in the back of a lorry a year ago were displayed on the wall of the Hackney Chinese Community Services centre

A memorial event paying tribute to the 39 people who died in a container lorry is being held on the first anniversary of the tragedy.

A group of Vietnamese people suffocated in a container on 23 October 2019 as it was transported from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Purfleet in Essex.

The migrants, aged between 15 and 44, had been allegedly trapped in the trailer for 12 hours.

Hackney Chinese Community Services (HCCS) began welcoming visitors to a shrine at its centre in Ellingfort Road, Hackney, from 10:00 GMT on Friday.

Image source, Kirsty O'Connor / PA Wire
Image caption,
A shrine at the Hackney Chinese Community Services paid tribute to the 39 Vietnamese men, women and children
Image source, Kirsty O'Connor / PA Wire
Image caption,
Centre manager Jabez Lam blamed the death of the migrants on globalisation

Those paying their respects lit incense, wrote tributes and sat in silence in front of a wall displaying the names of those who died.

The shrine included a poster displaying the text of poems read at funerals and a table covered in white flowers, candles and offerings of fruit, sweets and biscuits.

HCCS centre manager, Jabez Lam, 64, said the aim was to "share the experiences, the common grief and the hardships of migrant communities".

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The 39 people were found in a lorry container on an industrial park in Essex last October

Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email

More on this story