Eight people have been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences after a lorry was stopped on the A38 in Somerset.

The vehicle was stopped on the A-road at North Petherton, near Bridgwater, at around 8.15pm.

Eyewitnesses described seeing “several” people exit the back of the lorry and make off on foot.

Police at the scene. Credit: Ellie Miller

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police initially confirmed a "number" of people had been arrested and that a search was underway.

We were called at around 8.15pm tonight by a member of the public who’d witnessed several people exit the back of a lorry on the A38 at North Petherton. Officers attended and a number of people have been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences. No one is believed to be injured. The road is currently closed while we carry out enquiries and search for others who made off from the scene. >

Avon and Somerset Police

Eyewitness Ellie Miller, who drove past the stopped lorry, said its back doors were wide open and stock appeared to have been knocked over.

I saw the lorry and its back doors were open. My boyfriend and I drove past. It looked like people had climbed out of the way - the stock was leaning. We saw six police cars, followed by ambulances and a fire engine.

Ellie Miller, eyewitness