Migrant dies in Channel Tunnel as British security body meets over crisis

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A migrant died trying to cross to Britain from France early on Wednesday, French police said, adding to a number of recent deaths in the Channel Tunnel as British ministers and security chiefs were to meet over the crisis in Calais.

Freight and passenger traffic through the rail tunnel has been severely disrupted in recent weeks as large numbers of migrants camped out in the Calais area have tried to board lorries traveling from France to Britain.

The Sudanese man who died on Wednesday was probably hit by a lorry exiting one of the shuttles that transport vehicles through the tunnel, French police said. French media said he was the ninth migrant to die in the tunnel since early June.

There were about 1,500 attempts by migrants to access the tunnel on Tuesday night, a Eurotunnel spokesman said, after 2,000 attempts the previous night.

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Migrants cross the English Channel, Calais
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Migrant dies in Channel Tunnel as British security body meets over crisis
French gendarmes try to stop migrants on the Eurotunnel site in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on late July 29, 2015. One man died Wednesday in a desperate attempt to reach England via the Channel Tunnel as overwhelmed authorities fought off hundreds of migrants, prompting France to beef up its police presence. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
French gendarmes try to separate migrants on the Eurotunnel site near the boarding docks in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on late July 29, 2015. One man died Wednesday in a desperate attempt to reach England via the Channel Tunnel as overwhelmed authorities fought off hundreds of migrants, prompting France to beef up its police presence. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A policeman faces migrants trying to reach the Channel Tunnel operated by Eurotunnel in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on late July 29, 2015. One man died Wednesday in a desperate attempt to reach England via the Channel Tunnel as overwhelmed authorities fought off hundreds of migrants, prompting France to beef up its police presence. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants who managed to pass the police block on the Eurotunnel site run towards the boarding docks in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on late July 29, 2015. One man died Wednesday in a desperate attempt to reach England via the Channel Tunnel as overwhelmed authorities fought off hundreds of migrants, prompting France to beef up its police presence. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
French gendarmes face migrants on the Eurotunnel site near the boarding docks in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on late July 29, 2015. One man died Wednesday in a desperate attempt to reach England via the Channel Tunnel as overwhelmed authorities fought off hundreds of migrants, prompting France to beef up its police presence. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants trying to reach the Channel Tunnel run past a policeman on the Eurotunnel site in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on late July 29, 2015. One man died Wednesday in a desperate attempt to reach England via the Channel Tunnel as overwhelmed authorities fought off hundreds of migrants, prompting France to beef up its police presence. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Hundreds of trucks are pictured parked on the southbound carriageway of the M20 motorway near Ashford in Kent, south-east England, on July 30, 2015, as 'migrant activity' continued to disrupt Europe bound freight traffic Thursday. France's interior minister said Wednesday that 120 additional police officers would be sent to Calais to secure the Eurotunnel site from migrants desperately trying to reach Britain. AFP PHOTO / JACK TAYLOR (Photo credit should read JACK TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images)
A migrant climbs a security fence of a Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on July 30, 2015. One man died on July 29 in a desperate attempt to reach England via the Channel Tunnel as overwhelmed authorities fought off hundreds of migrants, prompting France to beef up its police presence. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants who successfully crossed the Eurotunnel terminal walk on the side of the railroad as they try to reach a shuttle to Great Britain, on July 28, 2015 in Frethun, northern France. About 2,000 migrants tried to enter the Eurotunnel terminal in the French port town of Calais overnight in a desperate bid to reach England through the Channel tunnel, a spokesman said July 28. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
ASHFORD, KENT - JULY 30: Trucks line up on the M20 during Operation Stack on July 30, 2015 near Ashford, England. Operation stack remains in place on the M20 coastbound between Junctions 8 and 11 today, allowing freight vehicles to park on the motorway, as migrant activity in Calais, France causes further delays to traffic wishing to cross the English Channel. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 29, 2015 shows trucks blocked at the entrance to the Eurotunnel in Coquelles. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said today that 120 additional police officers would be sent to Calais to secure the Eurotunnel site, which is battling incursions from migrants. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants walk along railway tracks at the Eurotunnel terminal on July 28, 2015 in Calais-Frethun. Attempts by migrants desperate to reach England through the Channel Tunnel reached a new peak overnight July 27/28, as about 2,000 migrants tried to enter the Eurotunnel terminal in the French port town of Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants walk along railway tracks at the Eurotunnel terminal on July 28, 2015 in Calais-Frethun. Attempts by migrants desperate to reach England through the Channel Tunnel reached a new peak overnight July 27/28, as about 2,000 migrants tried to enter the Eurotunnel terminal in the French port town of Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants gather near the Eurotunnel terminal to try to climb in a shuttle heading to Great Britain, on July 28, 2015 in Frethun, northern France. About 2,000 migrants tried to enter the Eurotunnel terminal in the French port town of Calais overnight in a desperate bid to reach England through the Channel tunnel, a spokesman said July 28. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants who successfully crossed the Eurotunnel terminal walk on the side of the railroad as they try to reach a shuttle to Great Britain, on July 28, 2015 in Frethun, northern France. About 2,000 migrants tried to enter the Eurotunnel terminal in the French port town of Calais overnight in a desperate bid to reach England through the Channel tunnel, a spokesman said July 28. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants stand along the A16 highway as they try to access the Channel Tunnel on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A police officer sprays tear gas to migrants trying to access the Channel Tunnel on the A16 highway on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Employees of cross-channel ferry company My Ferry Link listen to an address by secretary General of French Trade Union Syndicat Maritime Nord, Eric Vercoutre (unseen) in Calais on June 24, 2015 a day after striking French ferry workers triggered severe transport disruption at Calais, while would-be illegal immigrants living around the port tried to capitalise on the hold-ups by getting through fences and boarding stationary trucks. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants sit along the A16 highway as they try to access the Channel Tunnel on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants climb in the back of a lorry on the A16 highway leading to the Eurotunnel on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. Some of the thousands of illegal immigrants camped in Calais and desperately trying to cross the Channel to reach Britain took advantage of a protest by French sailors blocking access roads to the Channel Tunnel on June 23 to climb onto stationery vehicles, said an AFP reporter on the scene. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
People hold banners during a demonstration of migrants in Calais, northern France, on World Refugee Day on June 20, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A French antirot police (CRS) officer tries to prevent illegal migrants from hiding in trucks heading for England in the French northern harbour of Calais, on June 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
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French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and his British counterpart Theresa May met on Tuesday to discuss the crisis, and May was due to chair a meeting of the government's emergency Cobra committee in London later on Wednesday.

Britain has agreed up to 7 million pounds ($10.9 million) of extra funding to help increase security at the tunnel's French terminal at Coquelles, officials said.

British authorities said they had agreed with the French to work together on returning the migrants to their countries of origin, particularly in West Africa, although no details were given about how this would work.

The crisis at Calais has had a knock-on effect on road traffic on the British side and caused huge delays for freight lorries as well as holidaymakers trying to reach the continent.

Some sections of the British media and some politicians have criticized France's handling of the crisis, though the government has stressed the importance of cooperation.

"There's no point trying to point fingers ... of blame," British Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters during a visit to Singapore, adding he was "very concerned" about events in Calais.

"It's about working with the French, putting in place these additional security measures, adding in the investment where that's needed.... We know how important this is," he said.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon in London, Pierre Savary in Lille, Dominique Vidalon in Paris and Rujun Shen in Singapore; editing by John Stonestreet)

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