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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Migrant dies in Channel Tunnel

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A migrant has died on a freight shuttle trying to reach Britain, Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel has confirmed.

The incident on the French side of the Channel happened at around 6am UTC+1, a spokesman said.

Freight traffic was being disrupted but there were also delays to passenger services following the incident near Calais.

The death follows months of trouble at the port of Calais, as migrants have repeatedly attempted to conceal themselves in heavy goods vehicles headed for Britain.

It is the second migrant fatality to take place in as many weeks following the reported death of an Eritrean while trying to get on a train at Coquelles last month.

A Eurotunnel spokesman said: “Services are partly suspended, and the disruption is principally affecting freight services. Passenger services are running with slight delays.”

The incident comes days after around 150 migrants caused delays and cancellations when they tried to storm the Channel Tunnel terminal in France.

There have been increased calls for a resolution to the migrant crisis in Calais.

The Eurotunnel spokesman added: “We are working very hard to restore full services as soon as possible.”

The migrant crisis in Calais has escalated in recent months, with around 3,000 people displaced from countries including Eritrea, Syria and Afghanistan setting up camp near the port.

Last week more than 3,000 truckers had to queue for several days in high temperatures on the M20 following a wildcat strike by ferry workers in France.

Industrial action by ferry workers this summer has come on top of the problems faced by hauliers with migrants desperately trying to clamber on board their HGVs to the UK.

French authorities have faced claims they are not doing enough to safeguard lorry drivers from intimidation, violence and attempts by migrants to climb on.

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