Migrants saved from acid tank death in France

7th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Twelve migrants were found hiding in a tank that was about to be filled with sulfuric acid.

CALAIS – Twelve migrants narrowly avoided a painful death on Wednesday when they were found hiding in a tank about to be filled with sulfuric 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.

AFP / Expatica

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