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France puts 10 in custody over migrant deaths in 2021 Channel crossing, AFP says


PARIS (Reuters) – French authorities placed ten people, including soldiers, in custody on Thursday, AFP news agency reported, following an investigation into the deaths of 27 migrants trying to cross the Channel in November 2021.

The accident was the worst disaster on record involving migrants in the narrow seaway separating Britain from mainland Europe.

In the wake of the accident, France and Britain traded blame. A French migrant charity filed a complaint shortly after the tragedy, saying the migrants called both French and British authorities but were only sent help when a French fisherman raised the alert, more than 10 hours later.

AFP reported that among those in custody, some are soldiers from the French rescue service Cross Gris Nez, in charge of rescues in the Channel. Cross Gris Nez declined to comment. The Manche prefecture did not respond to calls for comments.

The Paris court in charge of the investigation was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Marine Strauss, Sudip Kar-Gupta, Editing by Paul Simao)

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