TRAGIC migrant family who perished crossing the Channel to the UK ‘had no choice’
Construction worker Rasoul Iran-Nejad, 35, his wife Shiva Mohammad Panahi, 35, along with Anita, nine, and Armin, six, perished after being trapped in the cabin of a crammed makeshift fishing boat when it capsized in rough conditions, with winds of up to 47mph and five-foot waves.
In the Dunkirk woods where the Iran-Nejads spent their final days, friends say the family agonised over whether to make the treacherous trip across the open sea to the UK. A text message that appears to be from Mrs Panahi to a family member on Saturday, October 24 says the family “have no choice” but to cross the Channel, as to go the safer route by lorry “we might need more money that we don’t have”.
The family fled Iran on August 7 to travel to Turkey, before taking a ferry to Italy and driving to France a month ago, having paid £21’600 to illegal smugglers to cross the Channel on Tuesday, October 27.
A spokesman for Save the Children said that British and French governments must work together to “expand safe and legal routes for desperate families”.
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