More than 30 migrants drowned in an accident at Calais (France) when they tried to cross the English Channel from France. It was the most serious incident involving illegal crossings.
A group of migrants attempted to use calm sea conditions in order to cross to Britain on Wednesday. The English Channel is currently extremely cold, leading to many fatalities.
French fishermen first found the boat capsized and other bodies around it. This alerted authorities who launched an operation to rescue them. Franck Dhersin (deputy head regional transport, mayor of Teteghem) said that at least 31 persons died in the accident. As at least two more people remain missing, the death toll could rise.
France’s PM Jean Castex called the accident a “tragedy,”Blaming human traffickers or other facilitators for illegal migration.
“The sinking in the English Channel is a tragedy. My thoughts go out to the many missing and injured victims of criminal smugglers who exploit their distress and misery,” Castex tweeted.
Boris Johnson in Britain, his British counterpart, reacted similarly. He said that he felt the same. “shocked and appalled and deeply saddened”These deaths were tragic. In an effort to evaluate the situation, The Prime Minister convened an urgent COBRA meeting.
This is the Channel’s largest single boat capsize migrant boat. Prior to Wednesday’s drownings the biggest such incident was in October 2013, when five migrants died trying to cross into the UK.
This year’s Channel report has shown an increase in illegal migration. More than 25,700 migrants made the risky crossing of the channel, which is known for its heavy maritime traffic and powerful currents. This year’s total crossings are already more than those registered for 2020.
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