A MURDER investigation is underway after 39 bodies were found inside a lorry container - including one teenage body. 

Emergency services rushed to Waterglade Industrial Park, Eastern Avenue, Grays, at roughly 1.40am this morning. 

Emergency services arrived but 39 people were pronounced dead at the scene.

LIVE UPDATES AS 39 BODIES ARE DISCOVERED IN INDUSTRIAL ESTATE

Early indications suggest 38 are adults and one aged in their teens.

A 25-year-old-man from Northern Ireland has been arrested on suspicion of murder. 

Gazette:

Scene - police are guarding the area

Gazette:

Sadness - Emergency services arrived but 39 people were pronounced dead at the scene

Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner said: "This is a tragic incident where a large number of people have lost their lives. Our enquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened.

PICTURE GALLERY: AERIAL IMAGES SHOW CRIME SCENE AS POLICE INVESTIGATION INTO 39 DEAD BODIES CONTINUES

"We are in the process of identifying the victims, however I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process. 

"We believe the lorry is from Bulgaria and entered the country at Holyhead on Saturday 19 October and we are working closely with our partners to investigate.  

"We have arrested the lorry driver in connection with the incident who remains in police custody as our enquiries continue.

"I appreciate this cordon is going to disrupt the activity of local businesses in the area and we will work to ensure that disruption is kept as short as possible.

"We are working with Thurrock Council to mitigate against any impact our investigation scene will have locally."

THE ESSEX POLICE STATEMENT IN FULL AS FORCE PREPARES FOR 'LENGTHY' INVESTIGATION

A cordon has been put in place and access to and from the Waterglade Industrial Park remains closed. 

Paige Wade was driving past the industrial park at 4.15am on the way
home from work.

She told the PA news agency: "I had just finished work while driving up Motherwell Way and all you could see was blue flashing lights, as I was driving past there was police tape to cordon off the start of eastern avenue.

"I knew it was serious because of how many police cars and ambulances were there, but the police had parked their cars across the whole access
of the road so you couldn't see anything.

"There's always lorries around there as they park up there for the night, I couldn't say whether I did or didn't see the actual lorry in question."

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: "Shocked & saddened by this utterly
tragic incident in Grays. Essex Police has arrested an individual and we
must give them the space to conduct their investigations."

A restaurant worker in the industrial estate, who did not want to be
named, said the area was cordoned off by police on Wednesday morning.

"There's a lot of police and forensics," the Big Blue Food Bus employee said. 
"We've just seen what has been said online. It's awful.

"We thought maybe someone had broken into a lorry, but it's just awful."

Glen Freeland, from GSF Car Parts which is close to where the bodies
were found, said staff could not access the shop on Eastern Avenue on
Wednesday morning.

He said: "The manager went to get into work this morning and it was cordoned off and we've been moved to a different area. 

"All we know is they found the bodies in the back of a lorry.

"It was a bit of a shock but we're not 100 per cent sure of what's
happened."

A spokesman for the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance said: "On 23rd October 2019, [we were] tasked to assist EEAST to a multi-patient incident in the Thurrock area.

"Our priority was to work with partner emergency services to assess patients and provide any care needs that were identified.

"At this time, we have no further information and would advise all questions are now guided to Essex Police."