At least 27 migrants dead and 5 missing off the coast of France

The regional maritime prefecture of France said a search and rescue operation was underway for survivors in the Strait of Pas de Calais, and described it as the worst accident in history on the stretch of water.

The country’s minister of sea, Annick Girardin, He said French, British and Belgian helicopters were searching for the five people who are still missing.

The French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, described the incident as a “tragedy”. “My thoughts are with the many missing and injured, victims of criminal traffickers who exploit their anguish and misery,” he said in a tweet.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson He said he was “shocked and appalled, and deeply saddened by the loss of life at sea.”

The event has been described as the worst accident in history on the stretch of water.

“My thoughts and condolences are, first of all, with the victims and their families, and it is an appalling thing that they have suffered,” Johnson told reporters.

But I also want to say that this disaster underscores how dangerous it is to cross the Canal in this way. “

“And it also shows how vital it is that we now redouble our efforts to break the business model of the gangsters who are sending people to the sea in this way, and that is why it is so important that we accelerate all measures if possible.” contained in our borders … “.

“So that we can distinguish between people who come here legally and people who come here illegally.”

He said “we leave no stone unturned to the business proposition of human traffickers and gangsters … who are literally getting away with it.”

Johnson said it’s time for the United Kingdom, France and Europe “step up” and work together. He was scheduled to chair a meeting of Cobra’s emergency committee in response to the tragedy, his spokesman said.

France seeks to secure coastal strip

On Monday, the Ministry of the Interior of France announced that it would ship equipment and vehicles worth more than 11 million euros ($ 12.3 million) as part of an agreement with the United Kingdom “to ensure the coastal strip that extends for more than 130 km, from Dunkerque until the Bahía de Somme “.

He added that “the police and gendarmes will have additional resources to carry out the mission of combating illegal immigration.”

Last week, 243 people were rescued in the English Channel as they tried to cross the United Kingdom.

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