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Vietnamese woman may be among 39 dead in UK lorry tragedy



A grim text message suggests a 26-year-old Vietnamese woman could have been one of the victims of the UK lorry incident in which 39 people were found dead Wednesday.

Hoa Nghiem, a coordinator at Human Rights Space, a civic network based in Vietnam, sent a tweet of the text message sent by Pham Thi Tra My to her mother at about 4:30 a.m. Vietnamese time on Oct. 23 saying, “I’m sorry mom, my path abroad did not succeed. Mom, I love you so much. I’m dying because I can’t breathe. I’m from Nghen, Can Loc, Ha Tinh, Vietnam. I am sorry, Mom.”


Hoa also tweeted a picture of Tra My, with permission from her family.

Hoa said a contact of the woman’s family told her that Tra My had traveled to China and planned to go to England via France. She added that she believed the woman’s transport may have been arranged by traffickers who had since disappeared, but was clear that she could not be sure and it would take time to verify.

“One source told me they were notified on Oct. 23 that their family members had almost reached the UK, and please be prepared to pay,” Hoa told Chào by email. “But then the person disappeared. And they lost contacts with their family members.”

If verified the text message would have been sent from the UK at 10: 28 p.m. Tuesday.  The bodies were first found inside a trailer park in Grays, Essex at 1.40 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Guardian.

UK police had confirmed 31 of the bodies are male and eight are female. They also said the victims were all Chinese nationals. However, the Chinese Embassy in London on Friday said they were ‘yet to confirm [the] nationality’ of the victims.

Hoa told Chào that a legal representative of Tra My’s family had contacted her to spread the word, and that representative has said he had been approached by six other families who has relatives go missing since Oct. 23.

A UK investigation is ongoing.

NB: Chào is no position to verify the authenticity of the text message, but has sent all the information provided to us to Essex Police in order that they can rule out Tra My as one of the victims.

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