Migrant dead after being hit by French train


An Iraqi migrant was killed and two others injured on Friday after being mowed down by a freight train near a camp in the northern French port of Dunkirk, authorities said.

The accident occurred as the migrants were trying to cross the railway tracks near the Grande-Synthe humanitarian camp on the outskirts of Dunkirk.

One of the injured was treated in hospital for shock while the other suffered a minor hip injury, the authorities said.

The port of Dunkirk is situated about 40 kilometres (25 miles) east along the Channel coast from Calais.

Like Calais it is a rallying point for migrants seeking to smuggle themselves onto trucks bound for Britain.

Fourteen migrants have died in the attempt so far this year in Calais but Friday’s fatality was the first of its kind around Dunkirk.

Around 850 people, mostly Kurds, are currently living in the Grande-Synthe camp, which was built by the Doctors Without Borders charity to international standards, despite opposition from the French government.

Backed by the local municipality, the camp was built to replace an infamous tent city, similar to the squalid Calais “Jungle”, which is set to be razed in the next few weeks.

The government has announced plans to tear down the Jungle and relocate migrants seeking asylum in France to shelters around the country.

Around 5,700 people from Africa, the Middle East and Asia, around 1,300 of them unaccompanied minors, are living in the camp, according to local authorities.

Charities have estimated the number at up to 10,000.

© 2016 AFP

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