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UK embassy in Hanoi holds minute’s silence to commemorate Essex victims

Monday, November 04, 2019, 14:53 GMT+7
UK embassy in Hanoi holds minute’s silence to commemorate Essex victims
Staff of the British Embassy in Hanoi observe a minute’s silence in memory of the 39 Essex victims, November 4, 2019. Photo: Twitter

The British Embassy in Hanoi on Monday observed a minute’s silence in memory of the 39 people found dead in a truck container in Essex last month.

Each holding a white mums flower, British diplomats and embassy staff members stood silent around an empty desk to commemorate the victims in a photo posted to the Twitter account of British Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward.

“We’d like to express our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims, and all those who’ve been affected by this tragedy,” the post reads.

A similar minute’s silence was also observed at the UK Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday morning.

On Friday, British police said they believe all victims found dead in a truck container in Essex, about 32 kilometers from central London, on October 23 were Vietnamese.

The police added that they have identified some of the victims and have contacted the Vietnamese government and some families in the UK and Vietnam.

White mums flowers are dedicated to the 39 Essex victims at the British Embassy in Hanoi, November 4, 2019. Photo: Twitter

White mums flowers are dedicated to the 39 Essex victims at the British Embassy in Hanoi, November 4, 2019. Photo: Twitter

A delegation of officials from the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security arrived in London on Sunday and started working with the local police on Monday to verify the victims’ identities, Minister To Lam told reporters outside a legislature meeting in Hanoi on Monday.

Another delegation of foreign ministry officials left Vietnam for the UK on Sunday to assist the identification, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said.

The first reports about the victims’ identities are expected to be sent back to Vietnamese authorities at 3:00 pm on Monday at the earliest, Minister Lam said.

Vietnamese Public Security Minister To Lam speaks to reporters outside a legislature’s meeting in Hanoi on November 4, 2019. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese Public Security Minister To Lam speaks to reporters outside a legislature meeting in Hanoi on November 4, 2019. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

The minister added that Vietnamese police officials have brought DNA samples to the UK for victim identification.

“We have brought many ministry-verified documents concerning the families who reported that their members had gone missing for cross-checks with the British side to reach an early conclusion so that we can start working with the UK to resolve [related issues],” Lam said.

“That is our top priority.”

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