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‘Fortuitous’ no deaths after 14 people found in trailer

The Minister for Justice has said it was “fortuitous” that there were no deaths after 14 people were found in a refrigerated lorry at Rosslare Europort in the early hours of Monday morning.

An investigation is under way after nine men, three women and two girls were discovered in a trailer when the lorry was stopped and searched after arriving on a ferry.

It is understood the authorities were alerted after a distress call was made by one of the people inside the refrigerated trailer.

The group was assessed by medical personnel at the scene and all were said to be in good health.

The migrants, who are understood to be Kurdish and Vietnamese, were taken to a processing centre.

Helen McEntee said she was “extremely concerned to learn of the discovery of 14 people, including two children, in a refrigerated lorry at Rosslare Port on Monday and I would like to thank the emergency services for their initial response.

“Thankfully, I understand that all the people are in good health.

“We know from past experience that similar situations have led to tragic fatalities. This was an extremely hazardous undertaking and it is only fortuitous that the same did not happen yesterday.

“An Garda Síochána are investigating the matter with assistance from international partners.

“I would appeal to anybody with any information that might assist with the ongoing investigation to contact An Garda Síochána.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the 14 people may choose to apply for asylum or leave voluntarily.

“Our first response is always a humanitarian one – to check that they are alive and in good health and my understanding is that they are,” he said.

“Our next step now is to facilitate voluntary return – their return home if they’re willing to go home.

“If they choose to apply for asylum, they are legally entitled to do that and we’ll try and process the application as quickly as possible.”

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