The bodies of all 39 Vietnamese migrants – eight women and 31 men and boys, including two teenager aged 15, who died inside a lorry in England have been returned to Vietnam. Ambulances took the bodies to their respective family villages on November 30.
The first bodies were flown to Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport on November 27.
The bodies were discovered on October 23 in a trailer in Grays, Essex. Investigations are still ongoing both in the UK and in Vietnam.
Some families told the BBC repatriating their loved ones could leave them further in debt after it emerged it would cost each family more than 66 million Vietnamese dong (about £2,200), according to the vice minister of foreign affairs.
Pham Ngoc Tuan, brother of one of the victims, told the BBC’s Nga Pham: “We already had to borrow so much money, we had to mortgage what we had. I don’t even know if we can borrow anymore.”
More than £84,000 has been raised by various organisers to help support the families.
Senior coroner for Essex, Caroline Beasley-Murray, said: “I am glad that all the victims of this appalling tragedy have now been repatriated and our thoughts remain with the bereaved families at this dreadful time for them.
“It is important that not just the living but also the dead are treated with respect.”
The lorry driver accused of 39 counts of manslaughter has admitted plotting to assist illegal immigration.
Lorry driver Maurice Robinson admitted conspiring with others to assist illegal immigration and acquiring criminal property- namely cash – all between May 01, 2018 and October 24, 2019.
Mr Robinson was not asked to plead to 39 charges of manslaughter and was remanded into custody pending another hearing on December 13. (Source: BBC)