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British Embassy Staff Hold 1-Minute Silence to Commemorate Migrant Victims

All across Vietnam, people remain shocked and saddened by the news of the United Kingdom truck deaths.

Yesterday, the British Embassy in Hanoi held one minute of silence in memory of the 39 people who lost their lives while attempting to migrate to the UK. Both diplomats and embassy staff stood in a circle around empty desks, holding white flowers to commemorate the lost.

“We’d like to express our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims, and all those who’ve been affected by this tragedy,” a post read on the British Embassy’s Twitter account.

Over the weekend, British ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward also expressed his condolences in a video on the embassy’s Facebook page. "As a father, brother, husband and son, I cannot imagine what it must be to lose your loved ones in this way so far away from home," he said in Vietnamese.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also offered his deepest condolences to the families of the Vietnamese victims in the tragedy.

After British police discovered the bodies on October 23, they initially said they believed the victims were all Chinese. On Friday, they finally confirmed it is likely that all victims are Vietnamese. The case is ongoing, yet some families have now received confirmation from British authorities about the fate of their missing relatives.

Police in the north-central provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh, where many of the believed victim’s families live, are cracking down on human trafficking, and have so far arrested ten people believed linked to the tragedy.

This region is one of the poorest in Vietnam and a hot spot for human trafficking.

Hundreds of Vietnamese are trafficked to the UK each year. Often, they are forced to work in slave conditions in nail bars or cannabis farms.

[Photo via British Embassy's Twitter Page]