Staff praised for actions as 35 patients discovered in shipping container

Ambulance side shot

At 6.37am this morning (16th August), we were called to Tilbury Docks in Essex to treat 35 people who had been found in a shipping container.

The first crew on scene were there in 11 minutes and found the patients, including adults and 14 children of both genders, to be suffering from severe dehydration and hypothermia, with one male very sadly being declared deceased.

Daniel Gore, a Duty Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer at the scene, said: “The first crew on scene did a fantastic job in recognising the scale of this incident which meant we were able to get resources there very quickly and start delivering care to those involved.

Following reports from crews the Trust quickly declared a major incident and sent seven ambulances, two rapid response cars, a patient transport services vehicle, two duty operational managers, two BASICS doctors and its hazardous area response team (HART) to the scene to help deliver care to those in need.

After initial treatment by our staff all patients were conveyed to surrounding hospitals for further care; seven were taken to Southend Hospital, nine to London Whitechapel Hospital and 18 to Basildon Hospital.

Daniel added: “On behalf of the Trust I’d like to thank every member of staff who helped at Tilbury today - from our call handlers and vehicle dispatchers to those treating people at the scene itself. Their work was excellent and I am immensely proud of the service we provided.”

“Thanks to some excellent joint working between ourselves, our emergency services colleagues, the UK Border Agency and Tilbury Dock staff we were able to respond to this incident quickly and efficiently and provide an excellent level of care to our patients."

Look out for more information on this incident in Need to Know later this week.


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