39 Chinese found dead inside trailer truck

The Chinese 39 nationals were found dead in a refrigerated truck near London, British police have confirmed.

The victims were discovered in a container on the back of a truck in Grays, east of London, on Wednesday, shortly after arriving by ferry from Belgium.

The local Essex police force, which is working with immigration officials, said their initial priority was to try to identify the 39 victims.

Police said in a statement that eight of the dead were women and 31 were men.

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, named locally as Mo Robinson, on suspicion of murder.

Chinese embassy staff are heading to Essex in Britain to verify the bodies, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.