Migrants climb over fences
Migrants climb over fences outside the Eurotunnel terminal at Calais Getty

Calais migrants desperate to reach Britain have been dying in sharply increasing numbers just as French and UK authorities implement security measures to stop them from making the crossing.

Eleven migrants have been killed trying to reach the UK over the past two months alone. They have now been named and the circumstances of their deaths recorded in medical notes collated by doctors working in Calais.

The list of the deceased – and the circumstances of their deaths – was obtained exclusively by IBTimes UK and was put together by medical professionals working with Médecins du Monde in the Jungle, Calais' largest migrant camp of between 2,500 and 5,000 people.

It shows more migrants died trying to reach the UK in June and July 2015 than during the last six months of 2014.

The notes make for grim reading. They include in succinct detail the death of baby Samir on 4 July. He was just an hour old at the time of his death. His mother, an unnamed 20-year-old Eritrean woman, went into premature labour at 22 weeks after falling from the back of a truck bound for the UK.

Following the birth, doctors were unable to locate her in the jungle, despite extensive searches.

Migrants over the wire
Migrants walk towards the Eurotunnel after breaking through the wire Reuters

Three days after Samir's death Sudanese migrant Abdel Majid was discovered dead during an inspection of a freight carriage on the Eurotunnel. The 45-year-old had two children.

The document also records the death of 30-year-old Pakistani migrant Mohamed who died of injuries sustained in the Channel Tunnel on July 16. He was in hospital in Calais for three days after he was severely burned in the tunnel.

In total, 12 migrants have been killed in Calais so far in 2015. Eighteen more migrants died in 2014 while trying to reach Britain where they hoped to start new lives. Not all the names, ages and nationalities of the dead are known but the available information, which is by no means exhaustive, shows that casualties range across ages and were caused by a number of different factors.

Lou Einhorn, a psychologist working with Médecins du Monde and one of the authors of the list, told IBTimes UK that it was compiled using a number of sources. She said the French NGO acted as an intermediary with police, hospitals in the area and migrants on the ground and the notes were made drawing upon information from those sources. However, she added that the document was by no means definitive.

Sign warns of the danger
A sign attached to a security fence warns people of the dangers of entering the Eurotunnel site, near to the tunnel entrance in Calais Reuters

Einhorn said migrants have been dying in increasing numbers because of more extensive security measures around the port of Calais.

"They really understand that it is dangerous to go in the tunnel. The people know that they can die but they already crossed five or six countries and they just want to continue to England. They will cross anyway," she explained.

Einhorn said the response by the French and British governments had contributed to the deaths. "The political response bears a lot of responsibility. They have put the fences higher and higher and now there is a lot of death. Now it is really more dangerous to cross and the people are taking greater risks," she said.

The extra security measures to which Einhorn referred around Calais Port were put in place prior to the end of July when thousands of attempts to enter the Channel Tunnel were made by migrants in just one night.

In response, the French government sent an extra 120 riot police to Calais to protect the port and the British government promised more support. The measures have had the effect of putting the migrants in Calais more at the mercy of criminal gangs involved in people smuggling and has already seen an increase in migrant activity at nearby Dunkirk.

Security stepped up
Security has been stepped up around the port of Calais and the entrance to the Eurotunnel Getty