Fifteen illegal immigrants are being treated for dehydration after being found in the back of a refrigerated lorry deep in Somerset. Police swooped on the HGV at Southfield Services in Ilminster around 1pm after worried callers reported noises coming from the back of the vehicle. They found a group of stowaways including women and a 15-year-old boy who said they were from East Africa and Kashmir.
They are thought to have boarded the truck somewhere between Belgium and Calais and were found more than 200 miles away from Britain's Channel ports.
The German-registered truck is understood to have been transporting pharmaceutical goods to Devon.
A man from Germany was arrested on suspicion of facilitating the unlawful entry of people into the UK.
The discovery comes days after 35 people suffering from serious health issues were found in a shipping container at Tilbury Docks in Essex.
The vehicle belonged to the international refrigerated transportation company Thermotraffic. Joe Di Gennaro, the UK and Europe logistics manager said the van was likely carrying pharmaceutical goods and had a temperature of between two and 15 degrees.
He would not say where in Europe the lorry started its journey but said he would guess the people climbed on board "between Belgium and Calais - Belgium is a high risk area."
A heavy police presence remained at the scene yesterday afternoon, including at least two ambulances, three police cars, and a police van.
Staff at the neighbouring Little Chef and Travelodge said they were open as normal.