Man dies as 1,500 migrants storm Channel Tunnel in Calais

A Sudanese man has been killed as some 1,500 migrants tried to enter the Channel Tunnel in Calais on Tuesday

Illegal immigrants cause disruptions at the Channel Tunnel in Calais to try to gain passage into the UK
Illegal immigrants cause disruptions at the Channel Tunnel in Calais to try to gain passage into the UK

French police have said that a man has been killed as at least 1,500 migrants tried to enter the Channel Tunnel in Calais on Tuesday night.

The man was Sudanese and aged between 25 and 30, according to the France Info website, while reports suggest that he was hit by a lorry.

The news came as David Cameron pledged that the UK government would do everything it could to combat the crisis, the BBC adds. Speaking as the UK confirmed an extra £7m funding for new fencing at the terminal, the prime minister said the situation was "very concerning".

More than 2,000 people had already tried to get into the terminal on Monday night and the latest death takes the number of migrants who have died this summer trying to reach Britain through the Channel Tunnel to nine.

Speaking in Singapore, the prime minister said Home Secretary Theresa May would chair a meeting of the government's emergency committee, Cobra, about the crisis later.

"I have every sympathy with holidaymakers who are finding access to Calais difficult because of the disturbances there and we will do everything we can to work with the French to bring these things to a conclusion," Cameron said.

"There's no point trying to point fingers of blame, it's about working with the French, putting in place these additional security measures, adding in the investment where that's needed - Britain will always come forward with that."

The BBC reports a Home Office spokesman saying an additional £7m funding will pay for 1.2 miles of new fencing at the Eurotunnel site at Coquelles, and work to put up fencing began earlier this month and was due to be completed this week.

The incursions have caused serious delays to Eurotunnel train services - with passengers held up for about an hour on the British side and 30 minutes on the French side on Tuesday, French news agency AFP reported.

A spokesman for Eurotunnel - which manages and operate Channel Tunnel services - said migrant incursions were now "an almost nightly occurrence". It is an issue for the government to "sort out", the spokesman said.

"We need them to stop the migrant flow from Calais but it appears to be too much for them to handle," he added.

AFP says an official count at the beginning of July found that about 3,000 migrants - mainly from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Afghanistan - were camping in Calais and trying to get across the Channel.

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