Somerset

Ilminster suspected illegal immigrants get Red Cross help

Service station where lorry was stopped
Image caption The lorry was stopped at a garage on the A303 by the Southfields roundabout, near Ilminster

Volunteers from the British Red Cross are supporting suspected illegal immigrants who were found in the back of a lorry in Ilminster, Somerset.

The lorry was stopped by police on the A303 on Tuesday after other drivers reported noises coming from it.

They were taken to a place of safety where the charity is providing "practical and emotional support".

A German man, 50, was arrested on suspicion of facilitating the unlawful entry of people into the UK.

He has since been released on police bail.

'Reassurance and support'

The Red Cross also provided beds, bedding and other essential supplies after its services were requested by the police.

"Our volunteers are specially trained to deal with exactly these kinds of incidents," a charity spokeswoman said.

"We are there to provide reassurance and support where we can."

Police said on Tuesday the group of 15 consisted of men, women and a 15-year-old boy and told officers they were from Eritrea and Kashmir.

They had travelled from Calais and were en route to the Exeter area.

The lorry is owned by Thermotraffic but the firm but said it was unable to confirm where the vehicle was going or where it had come from.

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