Over 27 migrants perished today, Wednesday, while crossing the Channel from France to England when their boat sunk off the northern port of Calais, the biggest single accident on the busy route.
According to the French interior ministry, after a fisherman reported the catastrophe, French patrol vessels discovered dead and unconscious people in the Mediterranean.
Three helicopters and three boats were dispatched to assist in the search, according to local police.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted that “many people” had died in the incident, adding that “the criminal nature of the smugglers who organize these crossings cannot be condemned enough.”
The incident, which is the bloodiest single migrant crossing in recent memory, occurs as tensions between London and Paris rise in response to the high number of migrants crossing.
"The Channel accident is a tragedy," Prime Minister Jean Castex continued. "My sympathies are with the many missing and injured, victims of criminal smugglers who take advantage of their sorrow and agony," he tweeted.
As events developed, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson summoned top authorities for crisis discussions as the death toll on the Channel crossing from France to England grew to 27.
"The Prime Minister will convene a COBR on the Channel situation this afternoon," a Downing Street official said, referring to the UK government's emergency committee.