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Two in hospital after 16 'Iraqis' found in lorry

17 June 2017 National News

Two men have been taken to hospital after 16 people believed to be Iraqi nationals were found in the back of a lorry in sweltering conditions.

Police said they waved to alert passing motorists who flagged down the driver to stop on the A22 in East Grinstead, West Sussex.

The 13 men, two women and a child were released from the lorry by emergency teams.

Two of the men were taken to hospital suffering from dehydration. Water and medical treatment was provided to the others.

A 63-year-old man who was driving the lorry was arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration and is now in police custody.

Police said it was vital they reacted quickly in getting them out of the lorry as temperatures in the area soared to 25C.

Sergeant William Keating-Jones, of Sussex Police, said: “Our priority was for the welfare of the occupants who were in the back of the lorry. The vehicle was exceptionally hot and it was important we reacted quickly.

“This was a great multi-agency response to a potentially life-threatening situation, with emergency services, immigration officials, volunteers and even local residents all pulling together.

“We were also mindful of causing minimal disruption to motorists, and the road was closed for about 20 minutes while we were at the scene.”

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