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Truck death in Essex: Parents of Vietnamese woman fear dead, say they've been told it's a "safe route"



The family doesn't have much – they make about $ 400 a month for each other – but say they managed to put the money together to pay for their daughter Pham Thi Tra My to travel to the UK, where they hoped that she will have a chance for a better life.

She sent messages to her parents late Tuesday night in the UK when the trailer was in transit to the English port of Perfleet, according to seafaring charts seen by CNN.

"Sorry for Dad and Mom. The road I took abroad was not successful," wrote the 26-year-old. "Mom, I love your daddy so much. I'm dying because I can't breathe. Nngen, Kang Locke, Ha Tin, Vietnam. Mom, I'm so sorry, Mom."

It has not yet been confirmed that Pham Thi Tra My is one of the victims of the truck, but her family has said they are afraid of the worst. The UK authorities are working with their Vietnamese counterparts to identify the victims, but have not yet formally identified any of them or confirmed their nationality.

Speaking to CNN at his family's home in Vietnam, Pam Van Ting was still heartbroken, saying it was "very painful" to receive the text. He said his daughter must have known he would die when he was sent.

  Pham Van Ting said he and his wife paid about $ 40,000 to send their daughter to Britain, where she is believed to have been one of the victims of the Essex truck crash.

"I lost both my beloved and my money," Pham said, adding that the smugglers who paid did not tell the family how they would transport Tra My to the UK. She travels the country via China and France, but eventually falls out of contact with her family, after which Pham reports her missing.

By then it was too late, Pham Thi Tra My and the other 38 people aboard the truck were trapped and lacked oxygen.

  Nguyen Ti Fong said he hoped the UK authorities would help bring her daughter back.
  The home of Nguyen Ti Phong and Pham Van Tong in Vietnam, Ha Ting Province.

Four people have been arrested

Many are still unclear about this tragedy, which came to light in the early hours of Wednesday morning in the UK when paramedics were called to a truck container in an industrial park outside London. Inside, they found the bodies of 31 men and eight women believed to be Chinese or Vietnam nationals.

Apparently, the police in the United Kingdom found that the truck and the container had followed two separate routes – approaching the end of the journey together, shortly before the ugly discovery.

The truck driver, a 25-year-old Northern Irish man, was arrested, who met the container near where it was discovered when he was traveling from Northern Ireland via Wales. The container itself had traveled from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

Three people have also been arrested as police in the UK and Belgium continue their investigations.

Includes a 48-year-old man in Northern Ireland who was arrested on suspicion of murder and conspiracy with trafficking in connection with the investigation. A man and a woman, 38 and from Warrington in northern England, have been arrested on suspicion of trafficking and murder, according to Essex police.

The driver remains in custody on suspicion of murder, police said.

On Friday afternoon, more than the victims' bodies were transported from the trailer to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford for post-mortem examinations, according to the British BCP news agency.

"Formal identification processes will be conducted, as well as screening to determine the cause of their deaths," Pipa Mills, Essex deputy police chief, told reporters. "This process is probably lengthy, but it is crucial and we are working with Her Majesty's Crown to ensure the dignity of the victims and respect for their loved ones is at the forefront of our investigation."

The investigation is a painful reminder of the tragic events of 2000, when 58 Chinese migrants were found dead in a truck in Dover.

Nguyen Puon reported by Ha Ting, Vietnam. Sandy Sidhu and James Griffiths reported from Hong Kong. Tara John, Bianca Britton and CNN-based journalist Phung Minh Tuan Anh contributed reports.


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