Fire in French refugee camp injures atleast 10
Apr 11, Paris: A camp housing 1,500 migrants in northern France has been destroyed in a fire that officials said began during a fight between Afghans and Kurds, injuring at least 10 people after the fire tore through closely-packed huts at the Grande-Synthe camp, near the port of Dunkirk.
According to reports, the fire started after riot police intervened following reported skirmishes among refugees in the camp that injured some six people.
Similarly, the authorities stated that hundreds of people have been evacuated from the camp, which was home to between 1,000 and 1,500 refugees living in around 300 closely-packed wooden huts, humanitarian groups at the site said.“There is nothing left but a heap of ashes. It will be impossible to put the huts back where they were before,” said prefect of France’s Nord region, Michel Lalande, who was at the site.
He further added that the fire had been started deliberately.A large plume of smoke rose from the camp into the night sky and was visible from several kilometers away as many of the cabins burned down and over half the camp has been destroyed.It is believed that 165 people had already been transferred to nearby makeshift shelters as the blaze continued to rage in the early hours of Tuesday.
Grande-Synthe, also called the Liniere camp, and it houses refugees fleeing violence in North Africa and the Middle East. Its population has further grown recently with a surge of arrivals from Afghanistan.
The Oslo Times International News Network