BBC News: Essex lorry deaths

Posted By on November 19, 2019


Good evening and welcome to the program I’m
Victoria Hollins. First tonight, more on the thirty nine people who died in a lorry in
Essex we’ve now learned that some of the dead are believed to be Vietnamese nationals. And,
while the investigation continues today a Chinese Church in West London has been holding
special prayers. But five years ago it was another community left reeling after 35 Afghan
Sikhs were rescued from a shipping container in Tilbury. One had died during the journey.
Today they had a message of support and questions over how this could have happened again. James
Waterhouse reports. Pritpal Singh prays every day, despite the
colourful surroundings of the Sikh Gurdwara in Southall it’s been a poignant week he’s
a Sikh originally from Afghanistan and legally arrived to live in London 18 years ago. In
2014, 35 others tried to do the same via a shipping container at Tilbury Docks they were
found after banging and screaming from the inside one man died. It is not easy but in
a long-term and I find out that a couple of them it took them 3 to 4 years and finally,
most of them were able to get a stay in Britain and now they are contributing and integrating
the community, by learning language and everything. With 39 people dead what happened in Gray’s
has been an even more disturbing outcome, do you understand the concerns that many will
have with refugees migrants making this dangerous journey. Homelessness is increased in last
few years, the NHS is underfunded the police services all these public services are under
huge constraint. I perfectly understand that perspective because as you live in the country
you are part of the country but on the other hand I think as long as there will be conflict
and war and it in equality in other part of the world, you will have people who will go
to look out for a better life in other countries there’ll be communities across the capital
who will be deeply affected by what happened in Gray’s this week, many will have made similar
journeys but now there are broader questions over how to stop these kinds of tragedies
from happening on our borders London Afghans know their Chinese neighbors will be going
through something similar, I think most of the congregation member when they first heard
about it of course one of sadness horror but as a Christian congregation is one of sympathy
David still remembers fifty-eight Chinese people being found suffocated to death in
a lorry in Dover in 2000 he’s about to retire didn’t believe he’d see that level of human
loss again the nationalities of the 39 found in Gray’s haven’t been confirmed yet police
had thought they were all Chinese but it’s now thought six were from Vietnam what’s clear
is the investigation will take time along with processing what’s happened once more.
James Waterhouse BBC London

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