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Migrant died after clothes tangled under coach at Folkestone's Eurotunnel terminal

By Sam Williams

A man trying to gain access to the UK by hiding underneath a coach died when his body and clothing became entangled in the moving parts.

Mahammat Abdullah Moussa, 25, a Chad national, was discovered by French police at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone on November 18 last year.

The two-storey passenger bus en-route to France was stopped around midday for a routine security check when officers found a limb hanging down from the undercarriage.

The scene of the tragedy
The scene of the tragedy

The vehicle was moved to an inspection point so the body could be removed away from members of the public.

It was later discovered he had been dead under the coach for more than a day.

During an inquest at The Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone on Thursday, it was heard that Mr Moussa's body had become stuck in the underside of the coach's axle and his clothing was wrapped around it.

A post mortem report, heard in evidence, revealed the victim's lower left leg was missing, having been severed.

He also had a significant chest injury, with some bones and organs missing, and his body was also badly decomposed, possibly due to the heat coming off the coach.

The Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone
The Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone

The cause of death was given as multiple injuries.

An investigation discovered Mr Moussa's body had been under the coach for around 24 hours before it was discovered.

It is thought he boarded the vehicle - which had been making regular trips between Cologne, Germany and London, stopping in both Belgium and France before reversing the journey - in Gare du Nord, Brussels on November 17.

Det Sgt Darren Mankelow, of Kent Police, said a mobile phone found on the body revealed his last call, to a UK number, had been made at 12.17pm that day.

The officer said it was likely that Mr Moussa's death was "pretty instantaneous" as soon as the coach started moving, suggesting he made the call before he hid under it.

The coach left Brussels around 1.25pm, meaning he got into place between the phone call and the coach's departure time.

One of the contacts on his phone was for "mon papa" and police were able to make contact with his family with the help of the Chad embassy in Paris.

Speaking at the inquest, Mr Mankelow said: "He had positioned himself under the vehicle near the axle and the injuries were sustained by the turning of the axle.

"He clearly intended to put himself in that position without understanding the danger and risk..." - assistant coroner Sonia Hayes

"I think when the vehicle was stationary it would be difficult to see which parts would move or which parts would be stationary.

"I think it most likely when the engine started he met his death."

He also said that no third party was believed to be involved and that Mr Moussa was "not restrained except by his own clothing".

Mr Moussa's identification was confirmed after a fingerprint match was found in the Italian immigration database, following a request through Interpol.

It transpired he had been issued an ID card in Belgium by the immigration team on November 7, and before that had been in Italy, where his finger and palm prints had been taken.

Assistant coroner Sonia Hayes considered whether the death should be recorded as misadventure or accident, but in the end concluded a verdict of misadventure.

She said: "It is more accurate to say this is misadventure.

"I make a finding on the balance of probability he was attempting to gain access to the UK from Brussels.

"He clearly intended to put himself in that position without understanding the danger and risk.

"He sadly misjudged the danger in which he put himself in. It is likely he met his death exceptionally quickly in the circumstances."

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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