Migrants storm French port of Calais following protest

Hundreds of refugees charge across the port of Calais in northern France after breaking in following a demonstration of support for migrants living in a slum nearby, a video capturing the moment shows.

CALAIS, FRANCE (JANUARY 23, 2016) (RADIO 6) – Around 200 refugees managed to break into the port of Calais in northern France on Saturday (January 23) after a demonstration of support for migrants living in a slum nearby ended, enabling some of them to board the front deck of a British ferry, an official said.

A video published by a local radio station showed the moment a huge crowd of migrants ran across the port after breaking in.

The deputy Calais prefect Denis Gaudin told Reuters that the demonstration drew around 2,000 people and around 200 eventually managed to enter the port, with approximately 50 of them boarding a ferry, the ‘Spirit of Britain’, on an external deck.

MS Spirit of Britain is a cross-channel ferry operated by P&O Ferries. Gaudin said that some of the refugees had decided to quit the boat voluntarily and that the rest would be removed by police, if necessary by force.

A spokeswoman for P&O Ferries said the port of Calais was still closed on Saturday evening. She said the migrants had not managed to get inside the ship, as staff had locked the doors to prevent all access from the deck.

Thousands of refugees fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East have gathered over the past year in a vast slum near Calais, dubbed “the jungle”, using it as a stopover point before trying to smuggle their way across to Britain in the hope of a better life.