France - migrants

Police dismantle largest makeshift migrant camp in Calais

People in sleeping bags at the migrant camp near the Calais hospital, which was dismantled early Tuesday morning.
People in sleeping bags at the migrant camp near the Calais hospital, which was dismantled early Tuesday morning. © Forrest Crellin/Reuters

Police dismantled the largest migrant camp currently set up in the northern city of Calais on Tuesday, moving dozens of people into reception centres in the region.

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Local authorities had rigged up water taps and aid groups had been handing out meals to the estimated 500 to 800 people who were living in the makeshift camp near the city’s main hospital - the more fortunate in tents, others in sleeping bags on plastic sheets.

The police prefecture said the camp was creating “serious problems” for the security, hygiene and peace of mind for employees and patients.

Some 400 people were taken by bus to temporary reception centres in the region.

Minor found dead

Not far from the camp, at the same time as the dismantlement, a young Sudanese man was found dead in an industrial area where lorries headed to the United Kingdom are parked.

The 16-year-old had been living in the camp, and video surveillance shows that he was crushed while trying to board a lorry that was driving slowly.

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into involuntary homicide.

Calais has long drawn migrants from all over the world who are hoping to cross the channel to the United Kingdom.

Police have been regularly dismantling camps in Calais since shutting down the largest, the Jungle, in 2016.

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