An estimated 150-strong horde of would-be migrants stormed the French Channel Tunnel terminal early on Saturday morning. The rabble stampeded the Calais end of the tunnel at around 01:00 and forced operator Eurotunnel to cancel services for the third time in the last couple of weeks.
A Eurotunnel spokesperson said that both Le Shuttle passenger and cargo services had been affected by the invasion. He commented that what was basically a marauding mob had severely disrupted services and caused major inconvenience to travellers.
The spokesperson continued by calling on relevant authorities to take immediate action to safeguard the tunnel and restrict the movements of migrants. Eurotunnel’s sentiments were echoed by logistics firm Europa Worldwide’s Dan Cook.
The operations-director said migrants were forcing open the doors of lorry-trailers parked on motorways approaching Calais. Mr Cook said the break-ins were often taking place in broad daylight on major roads and the French police were doing absolutely nothing about it.
He noted that these incidents were not on remote lay-bys in the dark and were being photographed by reporters and social media users and broadcast around the world. Mr Cook continued by asking rhetorically if the same thing were to happen in the UK, wouldn’t the population be up in arms and expect the authorities to act straight away.
In the UK, Kent’s police force launched Operation Stack which allows lorry-drivers to park their vehicles on the M20 motorway in the event of any Channel Tunnel closures. An officer said on behalf of the force that after the tunnel had reopened it was 14:00 on Saturday before the backlog of traffic cleared.