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Channel Tunnel traffic resumes after migrant intrusion

Traffic through the Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France was suspended after around 100 migrants entered the French side of the tunnel complex

Published: Updated:

Traffic resumed through the Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France early Saturday several hours after being suspended when 113 migrants entered the French side of the tunnel complex, the company operating it said.

A Eurostar train coming from England entered the tunnel at 8:05am (0605 GMT), a Eurotunnel spokeswoman told AFP, saying that full services would resume gradually.

Traffic through the Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France was suspended early Saturday after around 100 migrants entered the French side of the tunnel complex, the company operating it said in a statement.

“At around 12:30 am (2230 GMT on Friday), around 100 migrants forced a closure and the entry of security agents into the tunnel,” a Eurotunnel spokeswoman told AFP.

“We have suspended the service.”

She said police were at the site and that traffic remained suspended.

Ten people, including seven migrants, suffered minor injuries in the storming of the tunnel, a firefighter at the scene said.

The interior ministers of France and Britain in August signed an agreement to set up a new “command and control center” to tackle smuggling gangs in Calais, as Europe grapples with its biggest migration crisis since World War II.

It came after attempts to penetrate the sprawling Eurotunnel site spiked that month, with migrants trying several times a night to outfox hopelessly outnumbered security officials and police.

Thousands of people from Africa, the Middle East and Asia are camped in Calais in slum-like conditions, and at least 13 have died since June 26 trying to cross over into Britain, where many have family and work is thought easier to find.