PM condoles with UK truck disaster victims' families

By Viet Tuan   November 2, 2019 | 07:18 pm PT
PM condoles with UK truck disaster victims' families
Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, May 11, 2019. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has offered his deepest condolences to the families of the Vietnamese victims in U.K. truck tragedy.

He has instructed the Ministry of Public Security and Foreign Ministry to send officials to the U.K. to work with local authorities on the matter.

Phuc also ordered authorities in Vietnam to provide support to the victims' families to help them cope with their loss.

British ambassador to Vietnam, Gareth Ward, on Saturday shared his thoughts and expressed condolences in a video on the embassy’s Facebook page.

"As a father, brother, husband and son, I cannot imagine what it must be to lose your loved ones in this way so far away from home," he said in Vietnamese.

Police in the Britain’s Essex County said they believed the 39 people found in a refrigerated container truck in the county last month were Vietnamese nationals.

The Vietnamese embassy in the U.K. is coordinating with relevant authorities in both countries to help the families of the victims take their bodies home.

On October 23, U.K. emergency services discovered the bodies of 38 adults and one teenager in a refrigerated container truck at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, east of London.

On Friday police in Vietnam’s central province of Ha Tinh said they have arrested two persons after 10 families complained that their children had gone missing in the U.K. after the tragedy.

Nineteen other families in nearby Nghe An and Thua Thien-Hue Provinces also complained their children in Europe were missing around the time of the disaster.

Maurice Robinson, the truck driver, 25, of Craigavon in Northern Ireland, has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter and other offences including conspiracy to smuggle people.

Three other people arrested in connection with the investigation have been released on bail.

Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security has collected DNA samples of the people who had reported missing children to send to the U.K. to help identify the 39 dead people.

Vietnam reported there were 490 human trafficking victims last year.

Some 70 percent of Vietnamese trafficked to the U.K. between 2009 and 2016 were linked to forced labor, with young people made to work in cannabis production and nail salons, according to a 2018 British government report.

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