A plucky migrant dodged high-speed trains and security guards to walk nearly the full length of the 50km Channel Tunnel between France and England, say police.
Abdul Rahman Haroun, 40, was stopped just short of the British entrance to the tunnel at Felixstowe and arrested.
It comes after hundreds of migrants from Africa and the Middle East, sleeping rough in and around the French port of Calais, have made attempts to hide themselves in lorries and trains in a bid to reach England.
Sudanese migrant Haroun, who evaded security guards at the French entrance, has now been charged with “causing an obstruction to an engine or carriageway using the railway”.
Eurotunnel has launched an investigation into the incident, which happened on Tuesday (August 4) evening.
“A criminal intrusion into the Channel Tunnel is an extremely rare incident. It is both illegal and highly dangerous,” a spokesman for Eurotunnel said. “Eurotunnel hopes that the full force of the law will be used to demonstrate that an attempt to enter the Channel Tunnel poses not only a significant risk of injury or death, but also precludes any possibility of entering the UK to claim asylum or to find work.”
It comes as British Prime Minister David Cameron said more fencing, guards and sniffer dogs were being sent to beef up security at the terminal in Calais.
“We are making progress but there is a lot more to do, including better security in the tunnel itself,” Cameron told Sky News. “We will oversee these improvements and they will take place in the coming weeks and days.”
The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday (August 7) conditions at Calais were “appalling” but the “mere 3,000” people there were manageable, and more security would not help.
This year Britain has turned down 10 requests from France to take responsibility for people with close links to Britain, who are allowed under European law to seek asylum in France and then transfer to Britain, UNHCR’s Europe director Vincent Cochetel said.
Britain had far fewer asylum seekers than France, and two-thirds of them arrived via legal channels, he said.
“There is not a significant wave of people coming to the UK,” Cochetel added.