Seven-year-old girl ‘dies in Channel crossing attempt’ AFTER migrants tried to sail to Britain

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A seven-year-old girl has died in the Channel after migrants tried to sail to Britain, French authorities have said. 

Details of The Incident

A small boat carrying 16 migrants was headed from northern France to Britain when it capsized, the prefecture in France’s Nord department said. 

The boat which ‘was not appropriately sized to carry so many people’ was carrying 10 children in total, as well as a pregnant, woman with officials saying none were wearing life jackets. It capsized soon after people boarded in the Aa canal a few kilometres from the coast. 

The inland accident is the latest in a trend that has seen migrants aiming to get to Britain from France boarding boats away from the coast to avoid stepped-up surveillance there.

At The Scene

Police and firefighters rushed to the scene after a person out for a walk raised the alarm, the prefecture added.

The young girl had died ‘on the spot of the effects of cardio-respiratory arrest,’ prosecutors in Dunkirk told AFP, adding that rescuers’ attempts to resuscitate her had been ‘in vain’.

‘Several people are in custody’ over the incident, they added, with investigators probing possible charges including manslaughter, people-smuggling and forming a criminal gang.

It added that the girl’s parents, who were travelling with three more of their children, were taken to a hospital in Dunkirk.

Details of The Victims

The others originally on board the boat, which capsized an hour before sunrise, were made up of another couple, two men and young children

The boat – which is thought to have been stolen – contained ten young children in all, as well as a pregnant women, and none were wearing life jackets, a local official revealed.

READ ALSO: Rancher who fatally shot migrant on his property near border REJECTS plea deal, will face murder trial

‘They were all getting on board from the quay at Watten when the boat collapsed,’ said Bertrand Gaume, prefect of the Hauts-de-France region.

Witness Impact Statement

A passer-by watched the disaster unfolding while it was still dark, and alerted the emergency services.

‘Gendarmes and firefighters immediately rushed to the scene,’ said Mr Gaume.

‘This boat, probably stolen, was not big enough to support so many people. It capsized shortly after these people got on,’ Mr Gaume added.

Local prosecutors immediately opened a criminal enquiry, working with judicial police, while gendarmes continued to search the water for any other possible victimes. 

The tragedy comes just days after three migrants died trying to cross the body of water after their boat got into difficulty. 

The asylum seekers were pronounced dead after falling in the water off the coast of Cap Gris-Nez in northern France on Thursday.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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