French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanen said that a boat with migrants capsized in the waters of the Pas-de-Calais off the coast of the country, as a result 31 people died.
It is noted that in total there were 33 migrants in the boat. Two survived, doctors are now fighting for their lives.
According to the TV channel Bfm, among the dead, five women, one of whom was pregnant, and a little girl.
Darmanen added that French police have detained four carriers who may be responsible for the tragedy.
After the tragedy in the English Channel, French President Emmanuel Macron called for strengthening controls at the EU’s borders. He stressed that the country will not allow the English Channel “to turn into a cemetery.”
In turn, the Prime Minister of Great Britain Boris Johnson called on the French government to pay even more attention to the fight against criminal groups that illegally smuggle migrants to the United Kingdom.
“I tell our colleagues on the other side of the English Channel that it is time for all of us to step forward, cooperate and do our best to defeat the factions that are now literally getting away with killing,” commented Johnson.
According to the prime minister, the tragedy showed how dangerous the sea route from France to Great Britain can be, as well as the fact that the operation carried out by the French authorities to combat illegal migration across the English Channel is not producing the desired effect.
On August 5, in just a day, 482 migrants crossed the English Channel. And another 246 people who were trying to reach British territory were intercepted by the French side. It was noted that many required medical assistance due to hypothermia.
In April, French maritime services intercepted several boats carrying 159 illegal migrants who were trying to cross the English Channel to the UK.
In 2020, more than 9.6 thousand attempts to illegally cross the border with Great Britain through the English Channel were recorded. At least six people were killed, at least three who tried to cross the strait were missing. A total of 868 rescue operations were carried out. In 2019, the total number of detainees was almost 2.3 thousand.
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