Traffic resumes in Eurotunnel after refugee storming

More than 100 refugees storm tunnel’s entrance in the French city of Calais, halting overnight train traffic.

Calais migrant crisis
Thousands of people from Africa, the Middle East and Asia are camped in French city of Calais [File: Yoan Valat/EPA]

Traffic has resumed in the Eurotunnel connecting Britain and France, after more than 100 refugees stormed the tunnel’s entrance terminal in the French city of Calais. 

A firefighter at the scene said that ten people, including seven refugees, suffered minor injuries in the incident on Friday evening, which halted overnight train traffic in the Channel tunnel. 

“At around 12:30am [22:30 GMT on Friday], about 100 migrants forced a closure and the entry of security agents into the tunnel,” a Eurotunnel spokeswoman told the AFP news agency. 

A Eurostar train coming from England entered the tunnel at 8:05am (06:05 GMT), the spokeswoman added, saying that full services would resume gradually.

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Thousands of people from Africa, the Middle East and Asia are camped in Calais near the tunnel in slum-like conditions, and at least 13 have died since June 26 trying to cross over into Britain, where many have family and work is thought easier to find.

The interior ministers of France and Britain in August signed an agreement to set up a new “command and control centre” to tackle smuggling gangs in Calais, as Europe grapples with its biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

It came after attempts to penetrate the sprawling Eurotunnel site spiked that month, with migrants trying several times a night to outfox hopelessly outnumbered security officials and police.

Source: AFP