Police in Bedfordshire have arrested 16 suspected migrants after stopping a lorry on the M1 motorway near Luton. According to media reports, Hertfordshire Police alerted their colleagues about the lorry which was stopped and searched on the hard shoulder at around 2.55pm on Thursday (22 September).
Some eyewitnesses said the truck was refrigerated because the migrants looked cold. One Tweeted: "#M1 #motorway big delays northbound - lots of ambulances- lots of frozen migrants from refrigerated lorry."
Some of the migrants were taken to nearby hospitals as a precautionary measure, but none are believed to be seriously ill.
All the migrants were arrested and will be handed over to the UK Border Agency for questioning. Their countries of origin and ages are not yet known. It is still unclear where the lorry entered the UK or where it was heading. A police helicopter was sent to the scene to look for any migrants who may have escaped.
In a statement, Bedfordshire Police said: "We were called at approximately 2.55pm by Hertfordshire Constabulary after receiving reports of immigrants in a lorry heading towards Bedfordshire on the M1 northbound. A number of officers attended and detained 16 people after the lorry was stopped just before junction 11.
"The ambulance service is in attendance and will be taking some people to hospital as a precaution before they are taken to custody."
On 9 September 2016 a group of migrants including a 20-day-old baby were discovered at Watford Gap, also on the M1. The group had been smuggled into the UK from Calais in what were described as horrendous conditions and almost suffocated.
Around 10,000 migrants are now living in squalid conditions in "The Jungle" in Calais, many of them hoping to reach the UK. A new "Great Wall of Calais" is now under construction in Calais, but road hauliers, who experience violence and barricades, say the wall won't make a difference.