| Last updated
A Vietnamese woman thought to have died after 39 bodies were discovered in a lorry trailer in Essex reportedly paid £30,000 for a ‘business class ticket’.
The family of Pham Thi Tra My, 26, this week confirmed they scraped together the money to pay for their daughter to travel to the UK in search of a better life, remortgaging their house in the process.
Tragically, the 26-year-old is thought to have died before the lorry even made it to the UK, after sending a series of messages to her mother saying she was dying on Tuesday night (October 22).
The messages, in which Tra My told her mother ‘I love you’ and ‘I’m sorry’, were sent at the same time the lorry was travelling from Belgium to the UK and became increasingly desperate as time went on.
As per CNN, it has not yet been confirmed that the young woman was one of the victims on the truck – but her family said they fear the worst. Speaking to the network, Tra My’s father, Pham Van Thin, said it was ‘very painful’ to receive the messages, adding his daughter must have known she was going to die when she sent them.
Revealing how he had lost ‘both [his] loved one and [his] money,’ Pham said the smugglers described the transportation as a ‘safe route’, but did not specify how they would transport his daughter to the UK. ‘If I had known she would go by this route, I would not have let her go,’ the heartbroken father added.
A human rights worker in Vietnam who has spoken with Tra My’s family told the BBC, as per MailOnline, the young woman had made the journey because she was desperately trying to help her family, who were in debt.
The worker, who asked to remain anonymous, explained:
She had just returned from Japan where she was working to try and pay off the debt. And that was not enough and so she looked for a better future.
For this girl it is very sad that she took the risk because she was dealing with debt that was created by another man in the family.
The human rights worker said the service used by Tra My was called a ‘very important service’, describing it as like a ‘business class ticket’ on the lorry. ‘With that she had to pay double or three times the price of the cheap ticket,’ they added.
They continued to note that migrants are often told they can make vast amounts of money by moving to the UK, and that the 26-year-old may have been convinced to purchase a ‘VIP ticket’ to get there for that purpose.
If it is confirmed Tra My passed away, she will have been among the 39 people to have died while taking the journey in the refrigerated container trailer, which crossed back and forth between the UK and Europe in the days before it was found.
As per the BBC, four people have so far been arrested and a murder investigation has been launched. While the 25-year-old driver, Mo Robinson, remains in custody on suspicion of murder, a man and a woman from Warrington – both aged 38 – were arrested on Friday (October 25) and held on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and 39 counts of manslaughter.
Another man, aged 48 and from Northern Ireland, was detained at Stansted Airport on Friday on suspicion of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people.
Each of the 39 victims will undergo a coroner’s examination to establish the cause of death, with Essex police then attempting to identify each individual.
However, they have warned this will be a ‘substantial operation’ and say they cannot estimate how long it will take.
Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims at this difficult time.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
'Smugglers said it was a SAFE route': Devastated parents of Vietnamese 'death truck victim' tell how they were hoodwinked into paying £30,000 for her 'VIP' trip to UK in hope she would have better life - but died among 39 migrants in -25C lorry
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read