Europe

Calais crisis: Migrant killed in accident with UK driver

File pic of migrants crossing main road near Calais Image copyright AFP
Image caption Migrants in Calais have resorted to desperate means to get across the Channel (file pic)

An Eritrean migrant died and his wife was injured in an accident involving a British car driver on a motorway near the French port of Calais.

The pair were knocked down on an interchange where dozens of migrants were reportedly trying to climb on to lorries.

Some of the migrants then set upon the British driver, officials say.

France has said it will soon close down a camp at Calais where up to 10,000 migrants are staying.

The Eritrean man killed on Sunday evening was the 14th migrant to lose their life in the Calais area this year. He was hit by a car as dozens of migrants tried to slow down traffic heading to the Channel Tunnel.

Calais officials said around 50 people had been placing obstacles on the road in an attempt to climb on heavy goods vehicles. The car driver had tried to avoid the obstacles but struck the two victims.

A local prosecutor said the driver had stopped to try to help the man, but he was then attacked by some of the migrants and went straight to police. French reports said riot police had to be deployed to bring the situation under control.

The migrants and refugees living at the camp, dubbed the Jungle, are hoping to cross the English Channel. They include at least 900 unaccompanied minors.

Last month, a teenage Afghan boy was killed while trying to climb on to a lorry heading to the Channel Tunnel. Raheemullah Oryakhel, 14, was believed to have been struck and killed by a car after falling off the lorry.

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Media captionCalais "Jungle" camp: The children trying to flee

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Monday that many of the children at the "Jungle" camp had family in the UK.

When the camp is shut down, reportedly next week, most of the migrants will be sent to shelters in other areas of France but Mr Cazeneuve believes those with British connections should be allowed into the UK.

"I solemnly ask Britain to live up to its moral duty," he told French radio ahead of a meeting in London with UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

Last month, work started on a UK-funded wall to run for 1km (0.6 miles) alongside the main road to Calais port. But the wall has also become the focus of a political row, with the mayor of Calais condemning the structure as irrelevant because the camp is due to be dismantled.

"The people of Calais are sick and tired of seeing barriers and barbed wire everywhere. They feel completely shut in," Natacha Bouchart said last week.

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