Fourth person arrested over small boat Channel crossing deaths

A fourth person has been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences after five migrants including a child died while trying to cross the Channel.

The 18-year-old from Sudan was arrested yesterday evening at Manston in Kent and is now in custody being questioned, a National Crime Agency statement said.

It added that a 19-year-old from Sudan initially detained on Tuesday evening had been released without charge and was now being dealt with by immigration authorities.

"Two other men, a 22-year-old Sudanese national and a 22-year-old from South Sudan arrested yesterday (24 April) continue to be held," the statement added.

It comes after a seven-year-old girl, a woman and three men died during the attempt to cross the English Channel on Tuesday.

A further 55 people believed to have been on board the boat have also been identified and will continue to be questioned by police in the next few days.

Craig Turner, deputy director of investigations for the National Crime Agency, said: "This tragic incident demonstrates the threat to life posed by these crossings and brings into focus why it is so important to target these criminal gangs involved in organising them."

Sky News was told on Tuesday that around 50 people who had paid for a place on board the boat helped carry it down the beach in Wimereux, northern France, before getting to the waterfront.

It was at this point that another group of people emerged and pushed their way on to the boat, threatening those on board.

It meant that a total of 112 people were on the boat that was only meant to safely accommodate 20 people.

According to the latest data from the UK government, a total of 402 migrants were detected crossing the Channel in seven small boats on Tuesday alone - an average of 57 people per boat.

From 17-22 April there were no detected crossings.