Monday 5 December 2016

Migrant dies on freight shuttle attempting to reach UK - Eurotunnel

Tom Pugh

Published 07/07/2015 | 10:31

Lorries parked on the M20 in Ashford as Kent Police reintroduced Operation Stack after around 150 migrants tried to storm the Channel Tunnel terminal in Calais in a bid to board UK-bound freight Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Lorries parked on the M20 in Ashford as Kent Police reintroduced Operation Stack after around 150 migrants tried to storm the Channel Tunnel terminal in Calais in a bid to board UK-bound freight Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

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

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The incident on the French side of the Channel happened at around 5am UK-time (6am French time), a spokesman said.

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

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."

Kent Police said delays were building around junction 11a of the M20, where lorries are queued as part of Operation Stack when cross-Channel services hit disruption.

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.

French policemen ask a migrant to get out of the trailer of a truck he climbed in, during an attempt to make a clandestine crossing to England through the Channel tunnel as lorries wait on a road which leads to the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles near Calais Credit: REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
French policemen ask a migrant to get out of the trailer of a truck he climbed in, during an attempt to make a clandestine crossing to England through the Channel tunnel as lorries wait on a road which leads to the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles near Calais Credit: REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
French policemen ask a migrant to get out of the trailer of a truck he climbed in, during an attempt to make a clandestine crossing to England through the Channel tunnel as lorries wait on a road which leads to the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles near Calais REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

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.

Read more: Migrants invade Eurotunnel terminal 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.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has suggested deployment of the French military to boost security in Calais amid fears that a fatality could occur.

The Fresh Produce Consortium estimates that £10 million of fresh fruit and vegetables have been thrown away since the start of the year as a result of the problems in Calais.

And Port of Dover officials said last week's ferry strike cost the UK economy £1 billion.

They have joined calls for "robust contingency plans" to be introduced to ensure the port - a £100 billion trade route - can work unimpeded by others.

Home Secretary Theresa May and her French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve last week agreed to increase the joint intervention fund to improve security around the port and the Channel Tunnel.

French aid workers have reported a "catastrophic" situation, with predictions that 2,000 more migrants could arrive over the summer at the camp, dubbed Jungle II.

Volunteers from L'Auberge Des Migrants say up to 50 new migrants are arriving every day at the camp, and there are not enough tents, blankets or food.

Dover Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has said the problems underlined the need to consider expanding the port at Dunkirk, 45 miles from Calais.

Press Association

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