The 39 people found dead in a truck in Britain were Chinese nationals, British media outlets reported on Thursday, citing sources.
The victims were discovered in a container on the back of a truck in Grays, east of London, on Wednesday, shortly after arriving by ferry from Belgium.
The local Essex Police force, which is working with immigration officials, said their initial priority was to try to identify the victims, thought to be 38 adults and one teenager.
The truck was moved Wednesday to a more secure location at the nearby Tilbury docks so the bodies could be removed.
Essex Police and the Chinese embassy in London did not respond to requests for comment.
In 2000, the bodies of 58 clandestine Chinese immigrants were discovered in a Dutch truck at the southeastern English port of Dover. Two people survived.