31 migrants die in English Channel, UK PM ‘shocked’

London, November 24

British PM Boris Johnson has said he was “shocked” by the deaths of 31 migrants in the English Channel on Wednesday. The victims drowned after their dinghy capsized while trying to cross from France to England in the worst disaster on record involving migrants in the waters separating the countries.

“I am shocked and appalled... This disaster underscores how dangerous it is to cross the Channel,” he said. The number of migrants attempting the Channel, the world’s busiest shipping lane, had jumped in recent months after the British and French governments clamped down on other forms of illegal entry.

More migrants left France’s northern shores than usual on Wednesday to take advantage of the calm sea, according to fishermen. Johnson said the tragedy showed how vital it was to step up efforts to break the business model of human traffickers. — Reuters

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