At least 20 migrants drown crossing English Channel to UK

Paris, Nov 24 (EFE).- At least 20 migrants drowned off the northern French coast of Calais on Wednesday as they attempted to cross the English Channel to reach the United Kingdom.

The authorities, which are searching for survivors and have not ruled out finding more bodies, did not reveal the nationality of the victims nor the circumstances of the incident.

The accident occurred amid mounting migratory tension in Calais and nearby areas.

Some 24,655 people have attempted to illegally cross the channel in a bid to reach the UK during the first 10 months of the year, compared to 9,551 people in the whole of 2020.

French prime minister Jean Castex said on Twitter that it was a “tragedy”, adding: “My thoughts are with the many missing and injured, victims of criminal smugglers who exploit their distress and misery.”

Last week, authorities arrested 15 members of a gang that was allegedly smuggling migrants, mostly from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Eritrea, through the Channel. EFE


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