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

Here is the complete catalogue of migrant deaths in and around Calais:


July 29: On the night of July 28 to 29, an unnamed migrant died, crushed by a truck as it disembarked from a Eurotunnel train. He had tried to climb on it to go to England.

July 28: A Pakistani migrant, 30-years-old, Sadik, died following an accident in the tunnel on the morning of July 27.

July 24: Ganet, an Eritrean woman, aged 23, died after being hit by a car about 5:30 on the A16.

July 23: A teenager was found dead in the English part of the Eurotunnel at Folkestone.

July 19: Houmed, an Eritrean teenager of 17, drowned on the site of Eurotunnel.

July 16: Mohamed, a Pakistani migrant of 23, died of his injuries from an accident in the Channel Tunnel on the night of July 13 to 14.

July 07: A Sudanese migrant Abdel Majed is found dead during the inspection of a freight train in the Channel Tunnel. He was 45 years old and the father of two children.

July 04: Samir, baby Eritrean, died one hour after birth. Her mother, aged 20, fell from the truck, which triggered premature delivery at 22 weeks.

June 30: The body of Zebiba was found along the A16 between Calais and Marck, struck on the highway. She had gone with two friends to try to go to England.

June 26: Getenet, an Ethiopian migrant of 32, died while trying to climb aboard a train to go through the Channel Tunnel.

June 1: At 4 am, an exile was hit by a car on the A16 and died.

June 2015: A body found on an island in the Netherlands in October was identified as that of an exiled Syrian, 22, missing in Calais.

February 14: Tesfaye, Ethiopian exile of 26, was found dead in his tent area of ​​the dunes. The causes of his death are "natural", he had no bruises.


December 14: A migrant was found unconscious on the emergency lane of the A16 between Calais and Dunkirk near Saint Inglevert. He died a few days later at the hospital in Lille.

December 12: A Sudanese migrant in England died after he is crushed under the wheels of the truck that took him to the other side of the channel. As he came out from under the truck it moved off.

December 1: The body of a man was found on the A16 between Calais and Boulogne.

November 19: Two migrants died in the fire truck in the waiting area of ​​the ferry terminal in Loon Plage, near Dunkirk.

October 25: Afom, an Eritrean, 26, was hit by a car returning from the police station after he was arrested in Coquelles. He was in a coma for nine days at the Lille hospital before his death.

October 24: Wednesday, October 22, Mohammad, a Sudanese migrant had a serious accident after jumping off a bridge on to a truck. Two days later he was declared brain dead.

October 21: Sara, a 16-years-old Ethiopian, died after being hit by a car on the highway.

September 26: A Sudanese migrant drowned in a canal during a fight.

July 23: Ahmed, 16, hid on a bus from Boulogne. He arrived in England, but when he tried to come out of hiding, the bus crashed.

May 23: Youssef, a young Sudanese migrant of 18, died when he was crushed by a car on his way to England.

May 7: Mengs, a 16-year-old Eritrean, died trying to get to England. Noticing that the truck he was on with two of his companions was going in the wrong direction, he jumped off and was hit by two vehicles that followed.

March 15: A young Ethiopian died in the night. Three men climbed on to a truck that was not going in the right direction. When they realised, they made some noise for the driver to stop. The driver braked suddenly, and one of the three hit his head. The other two fled and returned to Calais on foot.

March 14: Senay, Ethiopian migrant, living in camp at the edge of the Batellerie basin, was found drowned in a pool.

March 13: An Ethiopian migrant, Mesfin, died on the motorway A26 near the Rely rest area. He was hit by a vehicle. The driver did not stop.

March 9: An 26-year-old Albanian was killed on the Epistle rest area on the A16. He was stabbed to death during a brawl.

February 3: An Iranian exile, aged 30, was killed by gunshot wound to the chest in the industrial area Marcel Doret.

January 30: A young Iranian migrant, aged 17, died in the night as he tried to get to England. The truck driver saw him and two companions and told them to get out. He started driving before they were clear of the vehicle. Two of the three landed on their feet. The head of the third struck the ground, rendering him unconscious. The two young people tried to stop the traffic, but he was still hit again by a passing truck.