Migrant crisis: man dies as 1,500 try to enter Channel tunnel

According to French media, the migrant is the eighth to be killed at tunnel since June


One migrant has died after hundreds of illegal migrants tried to enter the Channel Tunnel in Calais overnight, operator Eurotunnel said.

The latest incident comes after 2,000 migrants tried to gain entry to Eurotunnel’s French terminal on Monday night, causing chaos for cross-Channel travel.

The escalating crisis has prompted British prime minister David Cameron to promise that the government “will do everything we can” to improve the situation.

A French spokeswoman for Eurotunnel said: “I can confirm that one migrant died last night after 1,500 tried to storm the Eurotunnel.”

The latest death comes as British home secretary Theresa May chairs a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee about the crisis.

According to French media, the migrant is the eighth to be killed at the tunnel since the start of June, and is believed to be a Sudanese national aged in his late 20s.

It is thought that he was hit by a truck.

Mr Cameron has described the migrant crisis as “very concerning” promising that “we will do everything we can” to improve the situation.

Speaking during his visit to Singapore, he added that he had sympathy for holidaymakers who had their travel plans disrupted by the disturbances, but that there was no point in “pointing fingers of blame”.

The Government has agreed an extra £7 million of funding for measures to improve security at

Calais and the entrance to the Channel Tunnel. Mrs May earlier announced the funding to step up security at the Channel Tunnel railhead in Coquelles after a meeting between government officials and their French counterparts to discuss the disruption.

Eurotunnel said the nightly breaches appeared to be too much for the Government to handle. Mrs May said: “We’ve had a very constructive meeting. The French and UK governments are working in close collaboration and co-operation on this issue which affects us both.

“We are both clear that we need to ensure we are dealing with the terrible criminal gangs, the people smugglers, who are making a profit out of the human misery of many people.” Mrs May said French authorities had committed extra resources to security at

Calais. Asked why British taxpayers should be paying for a problem taking place on French soil, she said: “We have juxtaposed controls at the border. We work together on dealing with this particular problem.”

The Home Secretary said she was “very aware” of the impact of the crisis on lorry drivers, those affected by delays and the people of Kent. The migrant crisis has escalated in recent months, with thousands displaced from countries including Eritrea, Syria and Afghanistan setting up camp near the port.

Earlier this month, Mrs May announced that a new secure zone will be created at

Calais for UK-bound lorries in response to an unprecedented surge in migrants attempting to cross the Channel. The Home Office said 1.2 miles of fencing would secure each side of the platform at Coquelles.

It is being supplied from the security fencing used at a Nato summit in Newport, Wales, last year and will be in place by the end of the month.

A Home Office spokesman said France and Britain had agreed to work together on returning migrants to their countries of origin, particularly those arriving from West Africa.