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Teenage refugee killed by Eurotunnel freight train while trying to reach Britain

The boy is was the second migrant to die on the Channel Tunnel train line in less than a week

Lizzie Dearden
Thursday 24 September 2015 12:11 BST
Refugees have tried to use Eurotunnel trains and the Channel Tunnel to cross to the UK
Refugees have tried to use Eurotunnel trains and the Channel Tunnel to cross to the UK (AFP/Getty Images)

A teenage refugee has been killed by a freight train near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel in France while attempting to reach Britain.

The latest death, believed to be of a boy from east Africa, possibly from Sudan or Eritrea, comes less than a week after a Syrian man was electrocuted while trying to board a train in Calais.

Officials from the local prefecture's said the man's body was discovered at around 2am on Thursday morning by the emergency services.

Placard reading 'Beware : danger of death' is pictured in the Eurotunnel site in Coquelles near Calais, (AFP)

"Upon arrival, they found the body of a migrant, believed to be a minor from Africa. An investigation is underway," a statement added.

A spokesperson for Eurotunnel said police and paramedics were called after a person was found unconscious on tracks near the French terminal overnight.

French newspaper La Voix du Nord reported that he was the twelfth migrant or refugee to die in France since the start of this year.

Several accidents have involved the Channel Tunnel, where people have been electrocuted, crushed by a freight lorry and fatally injured in falls.

At least three refugees have also died after being hit by vehicles on France’s motorways so far this year.

Some were crossing the country to reach Calais, after risking their lives to reach Europe in journeys over the Mediterranean or on Western Balkans route.

An estimated 5,000 refugees and migrants displaced from countries including Syria, Libya and Eritrea are believed to be camped in and around the French port.

A surge in people attempting to cross the Channel earlier this year prompted a string of measures to increase security at the terminal, including extra fencing and the deployment of more border force search and dog teams

At its peak, which coincided with French ferry strikes, the number of attempts to board lorries or trains was around 2,000 a night but that figure has fallen to around 150.

Additional reporting by AP and PA

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