French police have said a refugee electrocuted late Thursday near the Channel Tunnel linking France to Great Britain died trying to climb on to the roof of a train heading to the UK.
French police in the Pas-de-Calais region and Eurotunnel confirmed the death.
“Shortly before midnight, a migrant, probably a Syrian national, was found dead on board a shuttle on the site of the Channel Tunnel,” said the Calais prefecture.
Eurotunnel said in a statement that a freight train was stopped shortly at 10.20 p.m. local time [2120 GMT] “due to the presence of a number of migrants on the tracks”.
“When the shuttle was searched, a number of migrants were found on board, with one unconscious and one injured. The emergency services were called and immediately took them into their care,” read the statement.
According to Eurotunnel, the authorities later confirmed the death of one of those taken into their charge, adding “this sad incident shows once again that any attempt to travel illegally through the Channel Tunnel is fraught with danger”.
Thousands of migrants have set up a campsite near the mouth of the Channel Tunnel as they seek to smuggle themselves into the UK.
Their efforts to gain access to UK-destined trucks or the train services that run under the English Channel have led to 16 deaths since June according to French medical organisation Medecins du Monde, as well as massive delays on roads leading to the tunnel.