A migrant has died after trying to board a UK-bound freight shuttle near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel in France, officials have said.
BBC Paris correspondent Hugh Schofield said the young man had got through the fences surrounding the terminal, and climbed onto one of the shuttles that carry lorries through the tunnel, where the authorities say he was electrocuted, presumably by overhead power lines.
Their efforts to gain access to U.K.-destined trucks or the train services that run under the English Channel have led to 16 deaths since June according to French medical organization Medecins du Monde, as well as massive delays on roads leading to the tunnel.
Chunnel operator Eurotunnel said the shuttle was stopped shortly after leaving the platforms in Calais due to migrants on the tracks at around 10.20pm last night.
The migrant, thought to be a Syrian, was found dead shortly before midnight Thursday.
During a search of the train, the Syrian man who later died was found unconscious with another injured person.
A spokesperson for Eurotunnel said: “The emergency services were called and immediately took them into their care”.
A spokeswoman for Eurotunnel, which operates the cross-Channel link, said: “We deplore this event which proves once again that any attempt to cross the Channel illegally carries considerable risks”.
Passenger services through the tunnel are operating with some timetable disruption and a waiting time of about 30 minutes as a result of the tragedy.
Campaigners also plan to march through ‘The Jungle, ‘ where thousands are camped on the edge of the northern French port town – and on to Calais port.
An estimated 5,000 migrants displaced from countries including Syria, Libya and Eritrea are believed to be camped in and around Calais.
The United Kingdom has pledged to take up to 20,000 refugees over the next five years under the government’s expanded resettlement scheme, with the first wave expected to arrive soon.