The 39 people found dead in a refrigerated lorry trailer in Essex were Chinese nationals who had travelled 5,000miles locked up for days, detectives have said.
Eight of the victims are women and 31 are men. All are adults.
One female victim was previously thought to have been a teenager. Officers said she is a “young adult woman”.
Police have begun the process of moving the bodies from the lorry to a mortuary.
The first 11 victims are being transported under police escort by private ambulance from the Port of Tilbury to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, having left the port at 7.41pm.
Staff from the Chinese embassy in London are expected to visit the scene where the bodies were found, the AFP news agency reported.
An embassy spokesperson said: “We read with heavy heart the reports about the death of 39 people in Essex, England.
The Mayor of Thurrock Terry Piccolo, Superintendent Craig Saunders and Chief Inspector Claire Talbot (left to right) sign the Book of Condolence opened in the Council Chamber of Thurrock Council in Grays today.
London to Belfast, people gathered with candles and many bowed their heads as they thought of the dead.
Scanners used to detect stowaways in lorries but sources claim they don’t work as well on refrigerated units.
This is image was taken at Dover, showing migrants sitting on top of boxes inside a traditional container.
The refrigerated container was used to smuggle 39 Chinese nationals into the UK because it evaded detection by thermal imaging equipment, security staff at the port where it entered Britain have claimed.
The container arrived at Purfleet port, Essex, on the River Thames from Zeebrugge, Belgium.
Security personnel at both ports are equipped with thermal cameras which are used to try and detect stowaways.
These are used for traditional containers but not refrigerated ones.
One security official, who did not want to be named, said:
‘Thermal imaging equipment doesn’t work on refrigerated containers. They are simply too cold, and you can’t pick up any heat that might be coming from somebody hidden inside.
‘The smuggling gang must have known this, it just goes to show how clever they are.
They are constantly looking for loopholes and sadly, it’s ended up with all these people losing their lives.’