Increased safety measures at Calais Port after deaths

French officials take new safety measures to prevent migrant deaths, smuggling

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

French government officials and the French Calais port’s managers met on Friday in order to find a solution for migrant deaths in the Channel Tunnel following the deaths of two attempting to cross the Channel.

Two migrants including a young women died while trying to cross the Channel within the last 24 hours.

The channel tunnel has been operating since 1994, connecting Folkestone, Kent, in the UK, with Coquelles, near Calais. It hosts Eurostar trains for passengers as well as freights and has constantly dealt with the issue of illegal immigrant since its opening.

Regional police chief Fabienne Buccio told local media that a team with 265 police officers did not halt deaths and illegal immigration.

Buccio urged the government to focus more on education and public announcements to change people’s minds on illegal smuggling.

During her interview, Buccio said that in addition to the fences around the Calais port, the UK and Eurotunnel have to build barriers on their sides without any delay.

Buccio added that decreasing the speed limit in the A16 motorway which connects European mainland Calais and the British Dover port through the Channel Tunnel.

Although French police have increased patrols in and around Calais to prevent migrants from crossing the Channel, hundreds still take every opportunity to make the illegal crossing.

In June a video recorded by tourists travelling on a bus in Calais showed migrants trying to climb into UK-bound trucks in order to cross the channel.

The Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel demand a 9.7-million-euro compensation from France and Britain for the suspension in its services due to smuggling incidents.

The British interior ministry reported that 8,000 migrants have been detected while crossing the Channel since the beginning of June. The migrants tried swimming toward Dover port, or they tried to smuggled themselves into moving trucks or trains.

Calais has long attracted migrants who have escaped from wars as well as poverty and there is an estimate of around 3,000 refugees from Somalia, Eritrea as well as Syria living in camps near the northern French port.

TRTWorld and agencies