A vehicle waiting to board a ferry suffered an explosion which blazed into a fatal fire.

Dunkirk is a busy port for cargo and passengers

Dunkirk is a busy port for cargo and passengers

The lorry was carrying highly-inflammable expansive foam which meant that as soon as the fire began it quickly took hold, turning into an inferno.

The lorry was en route to the UK from Brussels; the vehicle was waiting to board a ferry at the Loon-Plage ferry terminal at the port of Dunkirk when the explosion happened in the trailer at approximately 7.30pm on Wednesday.

By the time the emergency services were on the scene, the lorry was totally burned out, but when they investigated, two totally charred bodies were discovered inside. The results of an autopsy are awaited and police are examined CCTV footage for clues to the pair’s identity.

Police now suspect that the fire may have been caused by a cigarette lit by one of the migrants who had stowed away in the trailer. The pair, who remain unidentified, had evaded all border checks in their attempt to get to the UK. The position of the would-be illegal immigrants showed that they had desperately tried to escape the blaze that killed them.

The Polish driver of the lorry is said to be in deep shock and claims not to have known the migrants had hidden in his vehicle. Eric Fouard, the Dunkirk prosecutor, said of the driver “He denies being aware that people were on board. There is no reason to suggest otherwise. These are illegal migrants who by definition have no identity papers and live in difficult human situations with no family in the country. Not many people will show an interest in them.”