World Pregnant women, children among 27 dead in English Channel
French police evacuates migrants from makeshift camp
GRANDE-SYNTHE, France (AP) — French police on Tuesday have evacuated migrants from a makeshift camp near Dunkirk, in northern France, where at least 1,500 people gathered in hopes of making it across the English Channel to Britain. Migrants, including some families with young children, could be seen packing their few belongings as police were encircling the camp early Tuesday morning, on the site of a former industrial complex in Grande-Synthe, east of Dunkirk.
CALAIS, France (AP) — Children and pregnant women were among at least 27 migrants who died when their small boat sank in an attempted crossing of the English Channel, a French government official said Thursday.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin also announced the arrest of a fifth suspected smuggler thought to have been involved in what was the deadliesttragedy to date on the dangerous sea lane.
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In their immediate response to the, French authorities initially gave slightly differing figures on the numbers of dead, from at least 27 to 31. The figure that Darmanin used Thursday morning on RTL radio was 27.
Darmanin said authorities are working to determine the nationalities of victims from the sinking on Wednesday. Two survivors were treated for hypothermia. One is Iraqi, the other Somali, Darmanin said.
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“Pregnant women, children died," he said, without detailing their numbers.
Darmanin on Wednesday had already announced the arrest of four suspected smugglers on suspicion of being linked to the sunken boat. He told RTL that a fifth suspected smuggler was picked up overnight.
The fifth suspect was driving a vehicle registered in Germany, Darmanin said. He said criminal groups in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Britain are behind people-smuggling networks. He called on those countries to cooperate better in the battle against smugglers, saying they don't always respond fully to French judicial requests for information.
“Britain and France must work together. We must no longer be, in effect, the only ones able to fight the smugglers," the minister said.
31 Migrants Die in English Channel After Boat Launched from France Capsizes
British and French authorities have called it the "biggest tragedy" involving immigrants in the crossing.The boat, which launched from France, had 34 people on board when it capsized in the dangerous crossing. According to the Associated Press, a French naval ship had spotted bodies floating in the water of both deceased victims and injured survivors. So far, 31 people had died, two have survived, and one passenger is still missing.
“The smugglers buy boats, Zodiacs, in Germany with cash," he added. "The smuggler arrested overnight has German plates; he bought his Zodiacs in Germany.”
The minister also took a swipe at British government migration policies, saying France expels more people living in the country without legal permission than the U.K. Illegal migration from France's northern shores to Britain has long been a source of tension between the two countries, with both sides blaming each other even as their police forces work together to try to stop unseaworthy boats from crossing the English Channel.
“Clearly, immigration is badly managed in Britain," Darmanin said.
Migrant boat capsizes in English Channel; at least 31 dead
CALAIS, France (AP) — At least 31 migrants bound for Britain died Wednesday when their boat sank in the English Channel, in what France’s interior minister called the biggest migration tragedy on the dangerous crossing to date. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said 34 people were believed to have been on the boat. Authorities found 31 bodies — including those of five women and a young girl — and two survivors, he said. One person appeared to still be missing. The nationalities of the travelers was not immediately known. © Provided by Associated Press French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin answers the press in Calais, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021.
He also suggested that by hiring people living in the country illegally, British employers are encouraging illegal migration to English shores.
“English employers use this labor to make the things that the English manufacture and consume," he said. “We say reform your labor market. Tell English employers that we need them to be as patriotic as the conservative government.”
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Camped in Calais, migrants renew resolve to try for England .
CALAIS, France (AP) — At the makeshift camps in France near Calais and Dunkirk, migrants are digging in, waiting for their chance to make a dash across the English Channel despite the deaths of at least 27 people this week when their boat sank a few miles (kilometers) from the French coast. Police have stepped up patrols in recent days and the weather has worsened, making this a bad time to attempt a crossing. But most migrants say the tragedy won’t prevent them from climbing into a flimsy inflatable boat packed with up to 50 people in hopes of reaching Britain.