Vietnamese woman texts parents: ‘I’m dying because I can’t breathe.'

Pham Thi Tra My is believed to be among the 39 people found dead in a truck near London on Wednesday.

Anti-racism campaigners hold candles during a vigil, following the discovery of 39 bodies in a truck container on Wednesday, outside the Home Office in London, Britain October 24, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY)
Anti-racism campaigners hold candles during a vigil, following the discovery of 39 bodies in a truck container on Wednesday, outside the Home Office in London, Britain October 24, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY)
“I’m sorry Dad and Mom. The way I went overseas was not successful. Mom, I love Dad and you so much. I'm dying because I can't breathe. Nghen, Can Loc, Ha Tinh, Vietnam. Mom, I am so sorry, Mom, ” Pham Thi Tra My texted her parents, Nguyen Thi Phong and Pham Van Thin. They believe Tra My was one of the 39 people found dead in a truck in the United Kingdom.
"The smugglers said that this was a ... safe route, that people would go by airplane, car ... if I had known she would go by this route, I would not have let her go," Van Thin told CNN.
Tra My went to China and was planning to reach England via France and that a civic network based in Vietnam, called Human Rights Space, was getting more alerts about possible Vietnamese victims in the refrigerated trunk Hoa Nghiem from Human Rights Space told Reuters.
Father Anthony Dang Huu Nam, a catholic priest in the remote town of Yen Thanh, south of Hanoi, told Reuters, "The whole district is covered in sorrow. I'm still collecting contact details for all the victim's families, and will hold a ceremony to pray for them tonight. This is a catastrophe for our community." A Vietnamese community leader told Reuters that the majority of the people found in the truck were likely from Vietnam.
"That girl who said in her message that she couldn't breathe in the truck? Her parents can't breathe here at home," Nam told Reuters.
On Wednesday British police found the bodies of 39 people inside a truck near London. Police believe that the dead were Chinese, but Beijing says this has not been confirmed, Reuters reported. Chinese and Vietnamese officials are currently working closely with British police, according to Reuters.
"I'm appalled by this tragic incident in Essex. I am receiving regular updates and the Home Office will work closely with Essex Police as we establish exactly what has happened. My thoughts are with all those who lost their lives & their loved ones," UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted on Wednesday.
Two men and a woman were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and conspiracy to commit human trafficking, according to Reuters.
Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills from Essex called the incident “an absolute tragedy” when speaking to reporters.
The police will carry out a formal investigation into the cause of the 39 deaths, Mills told reporters, saying “This process is likely to be a lengthy one but it is crucial and we are working with her majesty's coroner to ensure the dignity of the victims and the respect for their loved ones is at the forefront of our investigation.”
"We owe it to those who have died to get this investigation right and speculation is not helpful," Mills told reporters.
A Vietnamese smuggler told a French paper that there are different levels of smuggling packages, those that pay for the top level sleep in hotels and the lowest level is referred to as “air” or “CO2” referencing the lack of air in some of the trucks, BBC reported, saying that the interview was several years old.