Firefighters were forced to cut free 11 illegal immigrants after traffickers superglued shut the lorry they were travelling in.
Pictures showed the relieved Iraqi and Afghan migrants, which included six children, being lowered from the vehicle on the A303, near Warminster, Wiltshire, yesterday.
A café owner had called police after a customer heard people banging from inside the lorry when it pulled into a lay-by.
Dave Thomas, owner of The Willoughby Hedge Layby cafe, said: ‘A couple of the drivers come in every Saturday just after lunch coming back from the continent and so once we were told of the banging, they went straight away to the back of the lorry to try and open the doors, but to no avail.
‘We all knew straight away what the banging and shouting was. It has happened here twice before in the past 15 years I believe.
‘Police were soon there as were the fire brigade, but then they had to wait for a special disc cutter to get the padlocks off.’
He added sealing doors with glue was ‘a typical ruse by the gangs that organise people into the country’.
The immigrants managed to stay nourished by eating ‘expensive Belgian chocolate’ that was being transported in the lorry.
‘They seemed to have been very lucky as this trailer was a refrigerated unit, but the section that they and the chocolate was in was at normal temperature,’ Mr Thomas said.
Officers said the oldest child was aged 15 and there was also a baby among them.
A Wiltshire Police spokesperson added: ‘The driver was unable to open the doors due to finding a lock had been damaged so the fire crew had to use cutting equipment to gain entry.
‘As a welfare concern all of the group were individually medically assessed at the scene by paramedics and then deemed fit to be held by the police for illegally entering the UK.
‘The lorry had come in from mainland Europe overnight and the matter will now be handed over to our colleagues from the Home Office immigration department to deal in conjunction with assistance from the police and child services.’
The Home Office confirmed Immigration Enforcement was called to the A303.
It added it would take action to remove anyone who did not have the right to remain in the UK.