14 asylum seekers found in tanker on cross-channel ferry

Seven receiving medical attention, say Port of Dover police

A "critical incident" was declared at the Port of Dover today after 14 asylum seekers were found in a tanker on board a cross-Channel ferry.

They were discovered on P&O's Spirit of France vessel this morning and seven are receiving medical attention, Port of Dover Police said.

None of those found was in a life-threatening condition and ferry services have not been affected by the alert at the Kent port's Eastern Docks.

A Port of Dover Police spokesman said: "The Port of Dover can confirm that a critical incident is under way concerning 14 asylum seekers found in a tanker on board P&O's Spirit of France.

"Emergency services are at the scene and are dealing with the situation in close co-operation with port staff.

"Seven of the asylum seekers are receiving medical attention but none are currently considered in a life-threatening condition.

"The port is still open and ferry services are currently unaffected."

Kent Fire and Rescue Service later said: "Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called at 8.45am today to assist at an incident in Eastern Docks, Dover, concerning 14 asylum seekers found in a tanker on board P&O's Spirit of France.

"Six fire engines and some specialist equipment have been sent to the scene to assist with rescuing a number of people.

"Kent Police, SECAmb, the Border Control Agency and the HMRC are also in attendance and dealing with the situation in close co-operation with port staff.

"Seven of the asylum seekers are receiving medical attention but none are currently considered to be in a life-threatening condition."

A P&O spokeswoman said the company currently had no comment to make.

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