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Police inspect the lorry container where bodies are discovered, in Grays, Essex, Britain. The police of Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces on October 27 took hair, blood and nail samples from people who had earlier reported their children missing - PHOTO: VNA

Nguyen Dinh Sat, residing in Yen Thanh District in the north-central province of Nghe An, told the paper that the police had collected his wife’s hair and nail samples to determine whether his son was among the 39 deceased victims.

Earlier, his family had sent his son’s photo and identification number to the United Kingdom, asking for help with the identification of his son.

Sat noted that his family had yet to receive any information from the competent agencies on whether his son was among the 39 victims. He has not heard from his son since October 23 when he told his family over the phone that he was headed for the United Kingdom after leaving Germany.

The police also took samples of the hair, nails and blood of six other potential victims’ relatives from Yen Thanh and Dien Chau districts and Vinh City. These individuals had earlier reported their children missing for several days. They were reportedly on their way to the United Kingdom when they were last heard from.

Colonel Dang Hoai Son, deputy director of the Ha Tinh police agency, stated that the agency is verifying the information on the nine Ha Tinh people feared to be among the 39 victims. Hair and blood samples of the nine individuals’ relatives have been taken for DNA testing.

According to Nguoi Lao Dong, the samples will be sent to the Criminal Police Department and the Criminal Sciences Institute, under the Ministry of Public Security, for the identification process.

On October 26,Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered the Ministry of Public Security to partner with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the provincial governments of Nghe An and Ha Tinh to determine whether any Vietnamese nationals were among the 39 victims, reported the Government news website.

PM Phuc also assigned the Vietnamese Embassy in the United Kingdom to closely follow the situation and coordinate with British authorities to identify the Vietnamese victims and adopt measures to protect Vietnamese citizens as required by the law.

These agencies are required to report to the prime minister by November 5. 


Vietnamese families report missing relatives in UK

Multiple families in the north-central province of Ha Tinh have reported their relatives missing after 39 people were found dead in the back of a truck in the UK’s Essex.

Bui Huy Cuong, vice chairman of Can Loc District in Ha Tinh Province, was cited by news site Vietnamplus as saying that some families in Thien Loc, Thanh Loc and Khanh Loc communes and Nghen Town of the district had reported the missing of their children for several days after their children said they were on their way to the UK.

Pham Van Thin, a resident of Nghen Town, Can Loc District, Ha Tinh Province, said his daughter, Pham Thi Tra My, traveled to China and France to find way to the UK for work. In what is believed to be My's last text messages sent to her family on October 23, she wrote that she was struggling to breathe.

After hearing the news about the 39 dead people in a truck in the UK, Thin was afraid that his daughter might be among the truck victims.

Vo Nhan Que in Thien Loc Commune said his son, Vo Nhan Nhu, had left Vietnam in May. On September 22, Nhu told his family that he would travel to the UK but his family could not contact him since then.

Cuong said although the nationality of the 39 victims had not yet been confirmed, families in Ha Tinh, whose relatives reported that they would go to the UK, were extremely anxious.

The Can Loc government has asked communes to work with these families to support the competent agencies in the identification of victims.

The Government news website reported that Vietnamese ambassador in the UK Tran Ngoc An had talked on the phone with the Secretary of State for the Home Department of the UK and a representative of the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK had worked with the British police over the case.

On October 26, the Vietnamese Ambassador in the UK and some staff of the embassy went to the site where the bodies of the 39 victims were found. The Vietnamese Embassy will continue cooperating closely with the UK’s competent agencies to help identify the nationality of the victims.

The embassy has announced its hotline +44 7713 181501 and the citizen protection hotline +84981 8484 84 to help Vietnamese nationals seeking assistance. SGT