Eurotunnel services disrupted as asylum seekers storm Calais terminal

French police use buses to collect migrants who tried to walk through the Channel Tunnel to Britain overnight in Coquelles, France, October 3, 2015 © Pascal Rossignol
Eurotunnel was forced to suspend its services overnight as migrants and refugees bound for Britain tried to take it by storm.

Around 200 people broke into the tunnel located in the northern French port of Calais connecting the continent with Britain on Friday night.

The asylum seekers clashed with police and railway staff, which caused the suspension of rail services, a spokesman for Eurotunnel said.

Eurotunnel services resumed on Saturday morning, as final security checks were carried out. Passengers, however, were warned about possible delays. Traffic is being currently diverted through the reopened M20 motorway.

The whole group has been removed from the tunnel with police reportedly arresting 23 people in clashes that left six injured.

"This is something new. We have never been faced with something like that. Their determination and aggressiveness are growing," a police source told Reuters.

The group of migrants and refugees was labeled as “large” and “very co-ordinated”. “Such a large group had no chance of reaching the UK, so this was clearly an organized attack aimed at drawing media attention to the desperate situation of the migrants who are stuck in Calais,” Eurotunnel said in a statement.

READ MORE: 2,000 migrants storm Eurotunnel terminal in Calais, causing traffic disruptions

“They ran through the terminal, knocking some staff to the ground and throwing stones at them,” the Eurotunnel spokesman said.

“There are some minor injuries to staff and also two police officers. They were treated at the scene by paramedics.

“It's clearly an organized attack when it comes in such a large number. They arrived together and in a well-organized manner broke through the fences and all clearly knew where they were going.”

This is not the first incident of its kind. Nearly 2,000 migrants made an attempt to breach the tracks at Calais in July, forcing British and French authorities to re-introduce emergency measures.

Eurotunnel had to demand compensation from both the French and the British governments for the losses caused by the disruptions.

Migrants from a camp known as the “Jungle” located just outside Calais, have long been trying to get access to the Eurotunnel and, therefore, Britain. They often hide in lorries or trains going from France to Britain.

Jungle is a makeshift camp where some 5,000 people displaced from Africa and the Middle East are living in dire and insanitary conditions.