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Man and woman arrested in connection with Essex lorry deaths

A man and a woman have been arrested by detectives investigating the deaths of 39 people found dead in a lorry container in Essex on Wednesday morning.

A 38-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman from England are in police custody.

The arrests followed raids at addresses in Cheshire.

The pair have been held on suspicion of 39 counts of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people.

The 25-year-old Co Armagh lorry driver is still being interviewed by Essex police after they were granted extra time to question him yesterday (Thursday).

Three properties in Co Armagh were raided on Wednesday night and Thursday morning as the National Crime Agency work to establish if organised crime groups were involved.

The trailer carrying the 39 bodies was also leased from one Irish company, the Monaghan-based Global Trailer Rental Europe, on October 15 to another business on the Irish border.

It was the first time the second business had made such a leasing arrangement.

Essex Police say they began the movement of the victims from the Port of Tilbury to the chosen mortuary site at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford last night (Thursday).

A police spokesperson said: “This is all being done in close liaison with HM Coroner and we continue to work to ensure that the dignity of victims and respect for their loved ones are at the forefront of our investigation.

“The first post-mortem examinations will begin today, Friday 25 October.

“Formal identification will then follow the coronial process and will be a lengthy but crucial part of this investigation.

“As our investigations continue, the picture may change regarding identification, and we will continue to provide updates when appropriate under the direction of HM Coroner.”

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