Vietnamese authorities will bring UK truck tragedy victims home

By Hoang Thuy, Viet Tuan   November 5, 2019 | 01:55 am PT
Vietnamese authorities will bring UK truck tragedy victims home
An altar for Cao Tien Dung, feared to be among immigrants found dead in a truck in the U.K. on October 23, 2019, has been set up at his home in Nghe An Province, central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Once the identity of 39 people killed in a U.K. container truck last month is finalized in the coming days, their bodies will be brought home.

Nguyen Hanh Phuc, General Secretary of the National Assembly (NA), told the ongoing parliamentary session that British authorities had last week sent Vietnam the fingerprint records of all 39 victims killed in the U.K. truck deaths to double check their identities and nationalities.

"The Essex County Police has been actively investigating the case, but the procedure for disclosing victims' identities is very complicated. After reconciling the identities, making records, the local authorities must report to the court and obtain their approval. The identities of the victims can only been announced after the court approves it," Phuc explained.

The results will be officially announced in a few days, Phuc said.

Phuc said Vietnamese authorities have discussed plans to receive the victims' bodies and bring them back to Vietnam as a humanitarian act.

NA deputy chairman Uong Chu Luu told the meeting that the incident of 39 people found dead in a refrigerated container truck in the U.K had shocked the world.

On behalf of the NA, he offered deepest condolences to the families of the Vietnamese victims in tragedy and asked the government and relevant agencies to investigate the case and take protective measures for Vietnamese citizens.

The NA has also asked the Ministry of Public Security to speed up investigation into illegal rings sending people abroad, strictly deal with violations and take effective measures to prevent such incidents.

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

After first voicing a suspicion that the 39 people were Chinese nationals, British police are now saying they are Vietnamese.

Officials from Vietnam's Ministries of Public Security and Foreign Affairs, including foreign vice minister To Anh Dung, are in the U.K. to facilitate the identification of the victims.

Vietnam police have arrested 11 people suspected to be involved in the smuggling of the victims. They are from Nghe An and Ha Tinh Provinces in central Vietnam, where 31 families have reported members missing in Europe around the time of the truck disaster.

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