Channel Tunnel: Migrant 'dies on train trying to reach the UK' after 400 people try to storm tunnel

Eurostar announced delays to services due to 'trespassers in the tunnel'

Caroline Mortimer
Wednesday 08 July 2015 06:43 BST

A migrant has been found dead in the Channel Tunnel in an apparent attempt to get to the UK.

French authorities said news of the death was reported at 10am (9am BST), according to local reports.

According to reports, migrants were spotted on a freight train, prompting traffic to the UK side to be suspended at around 5am BST on the French side of the tunnel.

Police found a dead migrant but have not confirmed a cause of death.

Gilles Debove, of the police union Unité SGP-Police FO, said: "Around 400 migrants arrived and besieged the tunnel, as they do almost every night. One managed to board a freight shuttle and unfortunately fell off, losing his life," the Telegraph reported.

Eurotunnel, the company that manages the tunnel, reported on Twitter:

It recommended passengers with non urgent travel plans rearrange their journeys to a later date due to the length of the expected delays.

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

When the migrants were spotted, the safety procedures were immediately put in place. The train was stopped and police conducted a search of the tunnel where they found the body of a dead migrant.

He added: "This latest very sad incident is directly linked to the numbers of migrants trying to get to Britain and the government need to get more control of the situation before this sad incident is repeated."

The company tweeted:

A spokesman told The Independent they were unable to confirm the death and were only able to warn passengers to expect delays.

This is the second migrant death in the past fortnight after the death of an Eriterian while trying to get on a train at Coquelles.

The firm is one of several who have been affected by the increased security measures to stop the estimated 3,000 migrants living in makeshift camps around Calais from crossing to the UK to seek asylum.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested the migrant due to "injuries consistent with attempting to board the train". The matter is now under investigation by police in the Pas de Calais.

On Sunday, around 150 migrants tried to storm the tunnel in an attempt to board freight trains headed to the UK with French riot police reportedly called to the scene.

The crossing has been engulfed by chaos over the past few weeks with a strike by French ferry workers forcing it to close last week over potential redundancy fears.

Protesters blocked the entrance with barricades of burning tyres on the Calais side causing gridlock for Eurostar, shuttle and ferry users.

Thousands of holiday makers and lorry drivers were left stranded in soaring temperatures as the strike conincided with a heatwave.

Additional reporting by agencies

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