Police ‘foil 1,000 bids’ from Calais migrants to reach Britain

british tunnelFrench authorities faced more than 1,000 attempts by migrants camped out in the port of Calais to reach the Channel tunnel overnight, police sources told AFP Friday.

“More than 1,000 attempts were thwarted last night, with around 30 arrests,” the source said, adding there were no reports of migrants injured in their bid to enter the undersea tunnel linking France and Britain.

Another police source spoke spoke of “1,400 incursions” between 10:00pm local time Thursday (2000 GMT) and 7:00am (0500 GMT) Friday.

While being unable to confirm the figures, a spokesman for Eurotunnel said there had been “much less disruption” since an extra 120 riot police poured into Calais this week to bolster the 300-strong police contingent already stationed in the city.

At least four coaches of riot police were on Friday morning guarding the entrance to the tunnel, where the situation was calm.

A police source said that, while the reinforcements had helped, “the pressure of the migrants is still there” and the “situation remains difficult to deal with.”

However, this source said there had been far fewer migrants managing to get onto the Eurotunnel platforms and clamber on the train shuttles going to England.

The situation appears to have calmed in the past two days, after migrants made more than 2,000 daily attempts to breach the defences earlier in the week.

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

The crisis has strained relations between Paris and London.

The British government is poised to hold emergency talks later Friday on the issue.

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