AN ERITREAN migrant has reportedly died on the French side of the Channel Tunnel after trying to board a moving freight train.
The man died after attempting to get on a train at Coquelles, according to firefighters quoted by the daily Le Parisien newspaper.
A spokesman for Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel said a suspected migrant was apparently found unconscious at the terminal at around 5am local time.
“I understand that the person was pronounced deceased but we haven’t had any official confirmation of that,” he added.
“We don’t know what the circumstances are just yet, but obviously this is a very regrettable incident.”
The incident comes in the week that Calais descended into chaos as the Channel Tunnel was shut and migrants exploited a wildcat strike by French ferry workers by trying to board UK-bound trucks.
French ferry protesters burned tyres and hay bales, gridlocking roads leading to the port, while migrants tried to take advantage of slowing and stationary lorries by clambering on board.
Dozens of migrants were seen in helicopter footage walking by the sides of motorways looking for opportunities to jump on to lorries destined for Dover.
More problems ensued as French ferry workers striking over fears they will lose their jobs then trespassed on to Eurotunnel tracks, forcing services to be aborted.
The problems come amid the worsening migrant plight in Calais where numbers camped there have swelled to more than 3,000 since April.
Aid workers have reported a “catastrophic” situation, with predictions that some 2,000 more migrants displaced from war-torn countries including Eritrea, Syria and Afghanistan could arrive over the summer.
Volunteers from l’Auberge des Migrants say up to 50 new migrants were arriving every day at the camp, dubbed the Jungle II, and there were not enough tents, blankets or food.
British travellers were being urged to keep vehicle doors locked in traffic and when unattended in Calais, in advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).