A lorry discovered to have 39 bodies inside DID NOT enter the UK via Holyhead Port, Essex Police have confirmed.

A murder investigation has been launched after the bodies of 38 adults and one teenager were found at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Gray on Wednesday.

A 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

The lorry is from Bulgaria and was originally said to have entered the country at Holyhead.

North Wales Chronicle:

Police activity at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, Essex, after 39 bodies were found inside a lorry container on the industrial estate. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA

The trailer in which 39 people were found dead in Grays, Essex, on Wednesday is now thought to have arrived in the country from Zeebrugge, in Belgium, police said.

Essex Police have said that the tractor unit of the lorry is believed to have originated in Northern Ireland.

An Essex Police statement said: "Our detectives are continuing their investigation into the events in Grays this morning, Wednesday 23 October.

"We were called shortly after 1.40am by our colleagues in the East of England Ambulance Service to reports that, sadly, 39 people had been discovered dead in the container of a lorry at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Eastern Avenue.

"Originally, we reported that the lorry had travelled into the country through Holyhead on Saturday 19 October.

"After further enquiries, we now believe that the trailer travelled from Zeebrugge into Purfleet, and docked in the Thurrock area shortly after 12:30am this morning. The tractor unit of the lorry is believed to have originated in Northern Ireland.

"We believe the lorry and trailer left the port shortly after 1.05am.

"The driver of the lorry, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, remains in custody having been arrested on suspicion of murder.

North Wales Chronicle:

Police activity at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, Essex. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA

"A cordon has remained in place at Eastern Avenue for most of the day and this remains in place.

"We thank everyone in the area, especially residents and local businesses, for their patience and compassion throughout the day.

"This will be a lengthy and complex investigation and we continue to work with local partners and international authorities to gather vital intelligence and identify those who have sadly died.

"We urge anyone with information to contact our Major Investigation Team on 101 or visit our website."

A spokesperson for Belfast Harbour has said they have not been asked to investigate whether the lorry came from their port.

"We are aware of the tragic event reported this morning in Essex," a spokesman said.

"At this time, Belfast Harbour Police has not been asked to investigate; Essex Police is investigating and leading inquiries.

"We are available to provide any assistance that may be required to support the investigation and our thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their lives."

Paige Wade was driving past the industrial park at 4.15am on the way home from work.

She said: "I had just finished work while driving up Motherwell Way and all you could see was blue flashing lights, as I was driving past there was police tape to cordon off the start of Eastern Avenue.

"I knew it was serious because of how many police cars and ambulances were there, but the police had parked their cars across the whole access of the road so you couldn't see anything.

"There's always lorries around there as they park up there for the night."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "I'm appalled by this tragic incident in Essex.

"I am receiving regular updates and the Home Office will work closely with Essex Police as we establish exactly what has happened.

"My thoughts are with all those who lost their lives & their loved ones."

In a written statement, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "I'm shocked and saddened by this utterly tragic incident in Grays. My heart goes out to all those affected.

"Essex Police has arrested an individual and we must give them the space to conduct their investigations. Home Office immigration officials will be working closely alongside them to establish how this horrific event came to happen."