The tragedy in the Channel, and the fears of more to come

By Sheerazad Chekaik-Chaila

At least 27 people, including three children and seven women, one of who was pregnant, died in the Channel off the French port of Calais on Wednesday as they attempted to reach Britain in a clandestine journey by dinghy, according to the latest official toll. Sheerazad Chekaik-Chaila reports from Calais on the scenes as recovered bodies were brought to the quayside after the deadliest known tragedy involving migrants attempting to cross the Channel, and one which rescue services warn could be repeated with the arrival of treacherous winter conditions.

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It was early in the afternoon on Wednesday when a boat fishing close to the French port of Calais alerted the French regional surveillance and rescue centre (CROSS) at Cap Gris-Nez that it could see several people in the cold waters.