Fires scorch ‘Jungle’ migrant camp as demolition resumes
FIRES cut through a swathe of the Calais “Jungle” yesterday, sending migrants fleeing as French authorities prepared to ramp up demolition of the notorious camp.
The blaze spread just hours after workers protected by police moved in to clear the squalid camp that has been home to an estimated 6000-8000 migrants, many with hopes of reaching Britain.
A local official downplayed the blazes, telling AFP, “It’s a tradition among communities who set fire to their homes before leaving.”
Workers in hard hats and orange overalls used power saws to reduce shacks to piles of wood and plastic that were removed by diggers.
Mattresses, blankets, clothes, pots and suitcases left behind by migrants were also carted away.
Located next to the port of Calais, the “Jungle” has for years been a launchpad for migrants attempting to make it to Britain by sneaking onto lorries or jumping onto trains heading across the Channel.
As part of the camp’s clearance, 3242 adults have been transferred to centres around France since October 24 and 772 unaccompanied minors have been moved to shipping containers converted into temporary shelters in the “Jungle”. the interior ministry said.
The numbers represent around half the camp’s estimated population before the operation began, according to official figures. –
A police officer stands guard as migrants from the “Jungle” camp in Calais queue for transportation by bus to centres across France during the full evacuation of the notorious camp yesterday.