Migrant bids to cross channel from northern France down: police

british tunnelMigrants holed up in northern France made fewer attempts to get to England via the Channel Tunnel in the early hours of Thursday, police said, suggesting beefed-up security is having an impact.

Police counted several hundred bids to enter the premises of the Eurotunnel terminal in the French port city of Calais, down significantly from the roughly 2,300 attempts registered the night before.

Authorities arrested around 300 of the roughly 800-1,000 migrants estimated to be present at the site.

Eurotunnel did not give precise figures but acknowledged the night had been quieter than previous nights.

Traffic through the tunnel, which had been severely disrupted the previous day, was barely affected.

Early Thursday morning, there were no reported delays on either side of the Channel Tunnel on what is expected to be a busy day at peak European holiday season.

Police intercepted the vast majority of the few hundred migrants who did attempt to penetrate the Eurotunnel premises without violence, said an AFP reporter on the scene.

Some organised a sit-in to try to block shuttles exiting the tunnel.

The crisis in Calais has spiked in intensity in the past few days, with upwards of 2,000 desperate bids to sneak into the tunnel to get to Britain — seen as an “Eldorado” for migrants.

One man died in the early hours of Wednesday, apparently crushed by a lorry as he tried to make it into the tunnel.

The mounting crisis sparked concern from both France and Britain, with both governments announcing emergency measures.

France’s interior minister sent 120 additional police officers to the scene on a temporary basis, while London said it would provide an extra seven million pounds (9.8 million euros) to help beef up security on the French side of the border.

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