The body of a migrant has been found beneath a huge pile of magazines in the back of a lorry which had recently arrived in the UK via the Calais-Dover crossing. The victim, who was said to be wrapped from head to toe in clingfilm, possibly to evade detection, was found by the Hungarian driver of the vehicle at a lorry park off the A20 in Sellindge, Kent at around 8am today (18 October).
According to media reports, the lorry had been searched by border control officers with dogs in Calais and on arrival at Dover. Several stowaways were found at Calais, but at least one other person – and possibly more – weren't discovered. It is unclear exactly when or how the victim died. The driver is said to have gone into the Airport Cafe at the lorry park in a distressed state after finding the body beneath hundreds of baby catalogue magazines. Paramedics were called but were unable to assist.
Cafe owner Julie Breen, 57, told the Mail Online: "He came across to me and said he had found a migrant in the back of his lorry. From what I can make out, the load got disturbed and I think it fell on him and he suffocated. I only saw a boot and a leg. I called the police. The driver was foreign and he had asked me to call the police."
A spokesman for Kent Police said: "At 8.29am on Tuesday, October 18 2016, Kent Police was called to an incident concerning a lorry on the A20 at Sellindge near Folkestone. Officers and South East Coast Ambulance Service attended and a man in the rear of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. It is believed the lorry had travelled from France and inquiries are ongoing to identify the man and ascertain the cause of death."
Iberian transport company KLOG operated the truck. A spokesman was quoted by the BBC as saying: "We are aware of the incident in England and you can say we are investigating what happened."
Migrants often attempt to enter the UK by stopping or sneaking aboard trucks heading for one of the English Channel crossings but there are dangers involved. In 2000, 58 Chinese migrants suffocated in the back of a lorry en route from Zeebrugge to Dover. Dutch lorry driver Perry Wacker was jailed for 14 years for people smuggling. On 7 October 2016 15 migrants had to be treated in hospital after being found in a refrigerated truck which was stopped on the M25 in Surrey.