Kent

Stowaway dies in 'tragic accident' on Hungarian HGV, inquest hears

Airport Cafe on the A20 Image copyright Google
Image caption The man's body was found in the back of a lorry at the Airport cafe on the A20

An unidentified stowaway was found dead in a lorry hours after French authorities found 10 other illegal migrants in the back, an inquest heard.

The man's legs were seen protruding beneath piles of catalogues at the Airport service station on the A20 at Sellindge, Ashford, in October.

The man described as Afro-Caribbean, and possibly in his 30s, died in a "tragic accident".

Maidstone's Archbishop's Palace recorded a verdict of accidental death.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death was traumatic compressive asphyxia.

Det Sgt Simon Johnson, of Kent Police, told the inquest lorry driver Lorinc Guyla reported the body inside his Hungarian-registered soft-sided curtain trailer at the service station cafe.

Mr Guyla had earlier reported to the French authorities at Calais that a number of people had entered his trailer after its roof had been slashed.

About 10 stowaways from Eritrea were then removed.

'Poignant tragedy'

Mr Johnson said it was "impossible to tell" when the unidentified man entered the trailer because the vehicle was left insecure after the initial search.

"There is a hypothesis that he was there when the others were, or he could have entered in the port area," he said.

He added there was no-one else involved in the death and no suspicious circumstances, agreeing it was a "tragic accident".

The victim was carrying Hepatitis B. DNA samples have so far failed to confirm his identity and no identity documents were found.

Recording his verdict, assistant coroner Christopher Morris said: "I'm unable to record a name for the deceased gentleman - a poignant tragedy given he was probably somebody's brother, son and friend."

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