CNN reports that dockworkers at Tilbury Docks, a major London port, discovered 35 adults and children in a shipping container this morning. One man was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to police, several of the stowaways have "significant health problems," including severe dehydration and hypothermia. The BBC reports that these individuals are being treated at nearby hospitals.
At a press conference about the incident, Essex police Superintendent Trevor Rowe said that the death of the man is being treated as a homicide, and an investigation is underway. From the Independent:
He said: "All we know at the moment is that we believe them to come from the Indian subcontinent, but it is still early days.
"It is a homicide investigation from the police point of view at this time."
Rowe said the dockworkers were alerted to the shipping container after hearing "screaming and banging" coming from inside. CNN reports that the container arrived in Tilbury on a ship owned by P&O Ferries after a nine-hour trip from the Belgian port city Zeebrugge. P&O Ferries spokesperson Natalie Hardy spoke to CNN:
She said P&O Ferries does not inspect the contents of the containers it transports as a matter of company policy. Such checks, according to Hardy, are the responsibility of the UK Border Agency.
Police Superintendent Rowe said the 50 other containers on the ship will be thoroughly searched.
[image via BBC]