- France - immigration - UK
AFP - Twelve migrants narrowly avoided a painful death on Wednesday when they were found hiding in a tank about to be filled with sulphuric acid in northern France, a local factory head told AFP.
"Humans in 94-percent acid, it would have been certain death," said Dominique Vanneste, director of a chemicals plant in Calais, a major staging point for illegal immigrants trying to reach Britain across the Channel.
A truck driver was about to fill a cistern up with acid at the plant when he heard a sound coming from inside, Vanneste said. "We called the police, who took 12 people out. We were this close to a catastrophe," he added.
Migrants often try to hide in trucks in and around Calais bound for Britain.
French authorities have launched a crackdown against migrants in the area in recent weeks and have announced plans to shut down a squatter camp in Calais.
Relief organisations estimate that between 600 and 800 migrants -- including Afghans, Eritreans, Somalis, Sudanese, Iranians, Nigerians and Kurds -- are sleeping rough in the Calais region.