Coventry & Warwickshire

Thirteen men found in back of lorry at service station

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Media captionLorry contents searched after 13 men found in lorry

A lorry driver has been arrested on suspicion of people trafficking after 13 men were found in the back of a vehicle at a service station.

Three of those discovered at Mangrove Service Station on A45 London Road in Rugby, Warwickshire, required medical attention.

They were taken to hospital and the remainder were taken into custody, police said.

Border Force has been informed of the discovery.

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Warwickshire Police described the vehicle as an "overseas lorry".

The operation closed the A45 Westbound between the M45 and the A4071. It later reopened.

At the scene: Marian McNamee, BBC Coventry and Warwickshire

Image caption Boxes were piled up next to a lorry at the service station

A haulage lorry is parked up just before the garage.

I can see about 100 square boxes out on the pavement area and a team of about 10 people, in suits and police uniform and what looks like forensic investigators, who are going through the boxes.

They are going through every box before putting them back on the lorry.

The lorry looks to be foreign and is possibly from Romania.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Three of 13 men found at the site needed medical attention

West Midlands Ambulance Service said the three treated men were looked over at the scene for signs of heat exhaustion before being taken to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

Lorry driver Will Fry said he had seen the men, whom he described as Middle Eastern, at the service station wrapped in blankets and silver foil.

He told BBC News he was about to pull into the garage when he saw a "large number of police cars with blue lights flashing, ambulances and police everywhere".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The road next to the service station was earlier closed by police

"There was a continental fridge lorry with a trailer and its freight was strewn about all over the floor.

"Ambulance crew were attending to what looked like Middle Eastern gentlemen, most were bearded, and wrapped in silver foil and blankets with some not looking like they were in the best shape to be honest."

Hotel worker Tunde Kosa told the BBC she had arrived for work at the Travelodge Rugby Dunchurch Hotel, which is near the service station, to find several police cars outside.

She said the hotel was not affected by the incident.

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